In short: it’s a film about a couple of university teachers and scientists (played by Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy) who spend their time investigating and exposing fake paranormal activity. Robert De Niro is the Uri Geller type psychic and cutlery bender; he’s been in retirement for years, but resurfaces. Their paths will cross with unpleasant consequences. Meantime, Toby Jones is the scientist who is looking to test De Niro and prove, once and for all, whether such paranormal activity exists. And finally, Joely Richardson is Murphy’s love interest.
Good Stuff: up until De Niro’s first return show, the film flows well and engages the viewer. But after that, it wobbles. The pacing is good – at least till then – the characters interesting, and the story is enticing. The final twist is a good idea, though the execution could have been a bit better.
The Not So Good Stuff: as hinted above, the film loses its way near the end, and the final twist is fumbled. I suspect this lack of cohesion may be something to do with the fact that much of the film’s second half seems to be a reworking – and not a good one – of some of the key scenes from Christopher Brookmyre‘s Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks. It’s not a bad film, but it’s not top notch. Passable entertainment.
Advice: skip the film, and read Brookmyre’s book instead.