Triangle (2009)

Ghost Mobius Ship

First off, you’re absolutely right, Wikipedia.  I was totally trying to look up triangle the shape and not triangle the movie.  Okay, that kind of spoiled the title of the movie, but I don’t care.  These things need to be said.  Today’s movie was requested by coworker Jake.  I’m not sure why, but it happened.  It was a movie I had no knowledge of, but I was able to find it on Netflix so I slapped it up to the top of my queue.  It arrived shortly after and I finally got around to watching it.  What I didn’t know was that it was causing me to go back to back with an actor I had never heard of.  Well, I didn’t know that on top of the complete lack of knowledge about the movie.  But let’s see how this worked out in my review of Triangle, written and directed by Christopher Smith, and starring Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Henry Nixon, Rachael Carpani, Liam Hemsworth, Emma Lung, and Joshua McIvor.

A group of people decide they are going to set out in a boat to do some recreational sailing.  Jess (Melissa George), single mother of an autistic kid (Joshua McIvor), seems a little out of sorts, but her friend Greg (Michael Dorman), tries to cheer her up by letting her steer the boat.  He’s also brought his friend, Downey (Henry Nixon), who brings his wife Sally (Rachael Carpani), who in turn brings her friend Heather (Emma Lung), who she hopes to set up with Greg.  Also, Victor (Liam Hemsworth) is there.  As they sail, they completely lose the wind and get caught in a freak electrical storm, which capsizes their boat and drags Heather out to sea, never to be seen again.  Everyone else is able to get on top of the boat, where they’re able to see a passing ocean liner.  They board the boat, but find it completely empty and Jess feels a strong sense of déjà vu.  As things move along, she finds that they are trapped in a Mobius strip, repeating the same scene over and over.  Jess needs to figure out what’s happening and how she can get off this boat and back to her son.

Holy geez!  This is a confusing movie!  This movie starts out as Open Water, turns into Ghost Ship, and ends with the Butterfly Effect.  It is a very interesting premise that is hindered by how confusing and repetitive it gets, and you can probably start to figure out where it’s going about 30 minutes in.  For the first 15 minutes of the movie, I couldn’t tell where the movie was going or even what kind of movie I was watching.  At that 15 minute mark, it quickly becomes Ghost Ship and we figure out it’s a horror movie.  At that half hour mark, we’re shown something that let me figure out exactly where the rest of the movie was going.  It then proceeded to play roughly the same 20 minutes of movie over and over again until it finished up.  It’s not what I’d call a bad story, but it gets tedious as you watch the same situation happen from a different camera angle with a slight change over and over.  And there were a lot of logic loopholes that kept bothering me with the movie, but nothing I can really talk about in this paragraph.  The look of the movie also caused me a good deal of annoyance.  The movie was really bleached and way too bright, making it annoying to watch in parts.  An interesting look, but not a pleasant one to watch.

I could not figure out a way to talk about many of my irritations without a ::SPOILER ALERT::  So we find out the movie is in a Mobius strip when Jess pushes a murderer with a potato sack over its head into the water, then sees herself and her friends on the boat that brought them to the ocean liner and realizes her déjà vu was more apt than she thought.  The problem with this part is that you can just listen closely and hear what potato sack is saying (and whose voice she’s saying it in) and figure out that it was Jess fighting Jess.  She eventually decides (somehow) that she can only escape the boat by killing everyone.  But when you hear that it’s her voice and listen to what she was saying, you can figure out where the story’s going.  And it never made sense to me why she didn’t just run up to the entire group and tell them that something strange was happening.  They’d probably believe her when they realized that there probably shouldn’t be two of them.  And, since the only thing that’s lead her to believe that killing everyone would allow her to escape came from herself, I don’t know how she reached that conclusion.  If she approached them, they could’ve worked out a non-murder solution to the situation.  If killing everyone was a solution, you wouldn’t still be on the boat killing them in the beginning.  And when Jess actually becomes Potato Sack, how is she fooled and overtaken by her other self when only one of them has the benefit of knowing exactly what’s happened already?  And, at the end, she finally escapes the boat not by killing everyone, but by falling into the water.  So I guess you killed everyone for no reason, as I suggested.  Basically, the idea of this movie is really good, but its overlapping story leads to too many things that don’t make sense, too much confusion, and too much repetitiveness.  For a couple of other, smaller confusions, Liam Hemsworth’s death was stupid.  Jess was so enthusiastic in her explanation that she accidentally pushed a guy that was mostly muscle and twice her size into a spike that stabbed him in the back of the head.  The stacks of Rachael Carpani’s bodies was interesting and well executed.  I didn’t like when Carpani’s character, who had just been assaulted by the Jess with a bleeding head wound, accused Jess sans head wound of stabbing her and her husband.  Do you also think that I spontaneously regenerated the bleeding spot on my forehead?  ::END SPOILERS::

The cast did a good job in this movie, but only Melissa George was that prominent a character in this.  She did a fine job, but something about her face annoyed me.  I don’t know what it was.  At first, she’s very lethargic and not particularly interesting.  You start paying a bit more attention when they get on the ocean liner and she seems to be the only one with a bit of an idea of what’s going on.  Then she just goes flat out nuts and loses her ability to explain what she’s talking about in a coherent manner.  I didn’t get how this single mother turned into an ass kicker when someone wearing a potato sack attacked her.  At the time, you just know this person as a killer, but Jess goes all Sarah Connor on potato sack out of nowhere.

Triangle is a good idea and an interesting premise that eats its own tail pretty quickly into the movie and turns confusing, repetitive, and predictable.  The look is also interesting, but also unpleasant to watch.  I think I still might be willing to recommend this movie as a watch, though.  The interesting parts of the movie are worth seeing, but you might get sick of it on the second or the third playthrough, once you’ve already figured the rest of the story out and don’t want to bother waiting for it.  I found the movie from Netflix, but you will have to wait for the disk.  Triangle gets “I recognize this corridor” out of “No no, I mean he WAS dead.”

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