When you dont have a memory, how can you remember who to trust?
Roland Suso Richter
Running Time: 90 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Ever get that feeling when you wake up in the morning and just for a split second, mind you cant work out where you are or what day it is? Well, thats the way Simon Cable (Ryan Phillippe) feels for pretty much the entirety of The I Inside.
When he opens his sleepy wee eyes in the opening scene, Simon is lying in a hospital bed and the doc by his side (Stephen Rea) says that he has some bad news for him namely that he died last night (personally Id take the use of the past-tense word died as fairly good news if I was as Simon clearly is still alive, as it would mean Id made a pretty bloody remarkable recovery, but I digress). Having been resuscitated after whatever it is that happened to him, Simon discovers that he cant remember anything about the last two years meaning that his wife (Piper Perabo) is a complete stranger to him and so, for that matter, is his girlfriend (Sarah Polley). Still, at least hes able to work out that somewhere along the line hes been a bit naughty.
From then on its all about piecing the bits and bobs of his life back together, with the good doctors fairly unimaginative jigsaw analogy helping him out along the way. Countless trips back and forth in time (which could be for real or, then again, could be all in his noggin) reveal some startling facts about those forgotten years, and pretty soon the whole thing turns into a predictable race against the clock (or, to be more precise, the calendar).
The I Inside relies heavily on its time-jumping gimmick in an attempt to cover up the fact that the basic story being told just isnt particularly good. But, instead of saving the movie, all that to-ing and fro-ing between the years 2000 and 2002 only starts to grow tedious, and German director Roland Suso Richter just cant find enough momentum to carry on building up the level of tension that he kicks the film off with.
Having previously directed the highly-rated Der Tunnel, its clear that Richter is a guy with a fair bit of talent up his sleeve, and I cant really fault the performances of any of the lead players. But writer Michael Cooney who also penned the massively superior Identity delivers a higgledy-piggledy screenplay with very little going for it. Indeed, the only thing that kept me holding on until the end was the expectation that there would be a big, shocking finale which would make it all worthwhile but it doesnt come, and instead the movie simply peters out.
It's Got: Known Scouser Stephen Snatch Graham giving it his best American accent.
It Needs: Simon to ask to see a newspaper at one point or another. It might help with the date?
DVD Extras Some less-than-fascinating interviews with Richter, Phillippe and Perabo (just watch her repress her own squirming as she desperately tries to answer the question of what attracted her to the role without using the word money), a trailer, some stills, and production notes. Version reviewed The I Inside (Amazon UK) see also The I Inside (Amazon.com DVD Extras Rating: 4/10
It tries to turn you inside-out, but its all for nothing.