"Time Tripper Forgets About God"
What You Need To Know:
The story is entertaining but does not withstand scrutiny. There is a totally gratuitous sex scene, and some gratuitous foul language, making THE JACKET automatically inappropriate for younger teenagers who might be interested in the premise. Further, the film’s philosophy excludes God or spirituality. Instead of God judging the doctor for his sins, the time traveling incarnation of Jack does it. Smart enough to not take itself too seriously, THE JACKET is eerie and entertaining but not wholesome.
(HH, L, VV, SS, NN, A, D, M) Strong humanist worldview about redemption without spirituality or God; six obscenities, four of them the ‘f’ word, one strong profanity, and two slang words for body parts; man fatally shot in head during war, police officer shot by deranged person, mental patient forced into confined space, shock therapy, and bombs fall through night vision goggles; fornication depicted; upper female nudity during sex, plus woman in bathtub but nothing obscene shown; alcohol; frequent smoking; and, doctors treat patients cruelly, deranged man frames an innocent for murder, and time travel.
THE JACKET is an entry into the amnesia victim-murder mystery genre with some interesting twists. The likable, very talented Adrien Brody plays Jack Starks, a soldier who was shot during the Gulf War and wakes from his coma an amnesiac. Not knowing of any family or friends to house him, Jack begins to hitchhike aimlessly. He gets into the wrong car one day, because the driver shoots a police officer and then frames Jack for the murder.
Jack, unable to recount any details to exonerate himself due to the amnesia, is sentenced to a hospital for the criminally insane. There, a grizzled doctor played by Kris Kristofferson subjects Jack to cruel treatments that achieve unexpected results: Jack begins to move backwards and forwards in time. He is able to see what happened at the murder scene and even when he will die.
The story is entertaining enough but does not withstand scrutiny. Jack develops a romance and fornicates with a woman, which is totally gratuitous and has nothing to do with the plot. Combined with the gratuitous foul language, THE JACKET is automatically inappropriate for younger teenagers who might be interested in the premise.
A larger problem is the moive’s philosophy, which excludes God or spirituality. The doctor is judged for his sins not by God but by the time traveling incarnation of Jack. Similarly, Jack has the power to change his girlfriend’s life, not herself and not from any spiritual source.
Devoid of anything intellectually or philosophically substantial, THE JACKET is an exercise in suspense that is mysterious and eerie enough to make up for some plot holes. Smart enough to not take itself too seriously, it is entertaining but not wholesome.