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[Review] ‘Inoperable’ Shows Small Signs of Life

Jason McDonald

It’s rare that it happens, but every now and then I come across a movie that intrigues and bewilders me just enough to keep me interested for 90% of the movie only to fumble the ball right before the endzone.  “Inoperable” is one such movie.

In “Inoperable” Amy (Danielle Harris) wakes up to find herself seemingly alone in a hospital that has been evacuated in the lead up to a massive hurricane.  As she wanders the halls she discovers that a cop named Ryan (Jeff Denton) and Jen (Katie Keene) are also stuck in the hospital.  Things only get stranger, though, when Amy realizes the remaining hospital staff seem bent on killing her and her new companions.  To make matters even more complicated Amy is stuck in a time loop that repeatedly sends her back to the point of waking up in the hospital.  Somehow Amy has to overcome her time predicament and find a way of escaping the hospital.

Okay, that premise sounds a bit bonkers and it totally comes off that way in the movie, but damn if it isn’t intriguing when you’re watching it play out.  As things started to unfold during the movie I wasn’t sure if the time loop was being caused by supernatural elements, the storm, science experiments, or what.  The film kept teasing me with little details and character interactions that made me constantly question the true nature of things.  Up until the last few minutes I honestly didn’t know what to believe, but I was genuinely eager to find out what was causing all of the insanity.  Unfortunately, the film fails to deliver on a satisfying ending and in fact presents one that goes out of its way to actively disappoint me.

As I was watching “Inoperable” I felt the film reached a natural conclusion that, while not completely satisfying, would have been a decent way to tie things up.  But then, for some reason, there’s an additional five to ten minutes where the film decides to dump extra information on you that adds nothing to the film and only undermines everything that came before.  The ending is so off putting that I went from feeling surprisingly pleased with the movie to completely disappointed.  If this movie was ten minutes shorter I would say it was worth seeking out.  In fact, if you find yourself watching it just turn it off when you think the movie is over and you’ll have a better experience than I did.

Beyond that, I don’t have a whole lot to say about “Inoperable.”  Keene and Denton have solid performances and as a diehard Danielle Harris fan I think she’s perfectly fine in this movie.  The minor characters that they bump into have some flat performances which is surprising since they only have a couple of lines of dialog.  The dialog is also a perplexing area as characters will comment on incredibly bizarre things.  For example, there’s one moment where a character stops to discuss another character’s makeup after nearly dying.  The ending of the movie addresses these strange interactions, but as you know i’m not a fan of the ending so that doesn’t make their weirdness any better.

Overall, this is a movie with a lot of potential and some fun ideas, but the execution left a lot to be desired and the ending left a nasty taste in my mouth.  I wish I could recommend this movie to people, as I enjoyed how convoluted it got a times, but as it stands I think it’s best to avoid this unless you’re a diehard Danielle Harris fan.

1.5 / 5 stars     


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