A psychic helps investigate a series of murders committed by another psychic.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays an FBI agent named Joe who’s tasked with solving a series of murders with his plucky partner Katherine.
For extra assistance, he recruits his old friend John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins), a psychic who’s worked with the FBI in the past, but has since retired after his daughter died of cancer.
Whenever John touches someone or something, he gets visions of the past, present, or future.
Together, this team of three deduces that all the victims had a terminal condition, and that the murderer was mercy killing them. The murderer, we later find out, is named Charles Ambrose (Colin Farrell) – another psychic!
Joe is wounded in a shootout with an unrelated murderer, and in the hospital, reveals he has terminal cancer. Cut to the next scene – his funeral (what?!). Charles kills him offscreen!
Charles and John meet each other face-to-face and debate their dueling ideologies.
After getting visions of Katherine’s death throughout the film, John preemptively shoots – and kills – Charles to save her life.
But in the final scene, we learn that John isn’t quite so different from Charles after all, and that he mercy killed his sick daughter. So, yeah, shame on him for being a hypocrite (I think that’s what we’re supposed to think).
This movie started off really promising; it had a nice, dark feel sprinkled with dry humor. Reminded me a bit of Close Your Eyes, actually – especially with the whole “law enforcement person teams up with person who has a special ability to solve a crime” thing.
But it all starts going downhill fast once Jeffrey Dean Morgan is unceremoniously killed off. It happens so suddenly, and he doesn’t even get a death scene, nor do we even see his body afterwards! Was there a behind the scenes issue? Did they only have a finite amount of time to work with him before he had to rush over to the set of Extant?
The film likes to use a lot of quick cuts during certain scenes; they definitely worked well with the abstract imagery of the psychic visions, making them disorienting and dreamlike. Where they definitely didn’t work? During a simple FBI briefing/exposition scene early on. That was a strange choice.
Charles’ point of view, giving terminal patients painless deaths, is of course valid, but the big issue I have with with him is how he takes the lives of his victims before their symptoms get really bad. Couldn’t he have waited to give them a couple months or even days to enjoy their lives some more?