There is a segment in the old B-movie Lost Continent, as seen by the Mystery Science Theater robots, where the story disappears and the audience is subjected to a good thirty minutes of nothing but mountain climbing. It's so mind-numbingly dull and repetitive that by the end of it the robots can only whisper to each other, “...mountain climbing.”
Take that, make it horizontal, stick in Adrien Brody, and you've got Wrecked. Never have I spent so long watching one man crawl around in circles. I would have cheered if he'd stood up and walked, broken leg or not, because at least then we'd have a new camera angle.
Wrecked is a study in minimalism, an experiment in pared-down plot and casting where the vast majority of the movie is Adrien Brody, alone, in the woods, after a car wreck. It starts off interestingly enough, with Brody waking up in a ravine, pinned in the passenger seat of a car. He's surrounded by broken glass and two dead bodies. He can't remember who he is or how he got there, and is so far out in the Canadian wilderness that no one is about to find him. Also there's a loaded gun under the seat and a bag full of money in the trunk.
And so the next half hour is pretty interesting, if still boring. From his confined position Brody has to find clues as to who he is and how he got there. He has to find warmth and food and water and eventually needs to escape. It's a bit like a video game, one of those old school “Escape the Room” puzzles where you are stuck in one location and have to piece together clues from around you to unlock the door. He snaps off the gear shift to pry open the glove compartment, he breaks a piece of mirror to use as a knife.
If that's all Wrecked was it'd be interesting enough. But soon he does find a way out of the car (more through desperation than puzzle logic), and the movie completely runs out of ideas. After that it's just Brody crawling through the woods, having delusions or flashbacks, eating worms, growing a beard, petting a dog.
There is maybe enough story here for a tight, thirty minute short. And yet the movie drags along interminably for an hour and a half of crawling and trees and crawling and trees. There's no reason it has to go on so long, yet it does.
Perhaps the movie is a metaphor for the filmmakers' struggle to finish a feature-length despite having no ideas, no budget, and one actor. Or perhaps it's just a waste of time.
Mountain climbing, friends.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
“Making of Wrecked” featurette and a number of trailers.
"Wrecked" is on sale August 30, 2011 and is rated R. Indie, Mystery, Thriller. Directed by Michael Greenspan. Written by Christopher Dodd. Starring Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas, Jacob Blair.