Yet another nuts-and-bolts Netflix thriller led by Sam Worthington that borrows liberally from other genre films to moderately diverting but otherwise unmemorable effect.
Casting Sam Worthington in a nuts-and-bolts thriller like Fractured (Netflix) is almost a joke — and not a particularly funny one. The actor is known for playing entirely uncharismatic everymen, though I suppose “known” is a bit ambitious. He has one of those generic faces you squint at a bit while you try and work out what you’ve seen him in. The problem is that you might have seen him in The Titan, a stunningly awful sci-fi flick you’d probably rather not be reminded of. Fractured is at least an improvement over that, but then again so was almost every film you’ve seen since.
Worthington plays Ray here, a family man whose wife, Joanne (Lily Rabe), and daughter Peri (Lucy Capri), all speak in that functional exposition-dispensing way you see a lot in plot-driven movies like this one. The utilitarian dialogue is almost a joke, too, the kind of thing a more self-aware film would use to mock a self-seriously unimpressive one like this. But it’s courtesy and Brad Anderson, best known for The Machinist and several other mid-range genre thrillers, and has a script by Alan B. McElroy, whose credits include Tekken, Spawn, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and John Cena’s The Marine. This is a point that, I think, makes itself.
But don’t let that put you off. Once an accident results in Peri being injured and a twisty-turny central mystery disappears both her and her mother, Fractured is able to find a dread-drenched style that is familiar but nonetheless diverting in that inevitable “I know something’s up, just not quite what” way. The surprises are obviously borrowed quite liberally from other genre movies and none of the material stretches anyone’s abilities — can Worthington even stretch? Another mystery — but that’s par for the course in this kind of thing. It isn’t offensively terrible, just blandly diverting, and sometimes that’s all you need in your laidback weekend viewing. Mileage will vary.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.