Movie Review: “Flashback” is an ambitious but over-complicated mess

When you make a movie like “Flashback” you gamble. You could end up with “Memento” or “Coherence”. Or you could end up with a jumble that goes over the audience’s head and sends them home frustrated, and sadly it’s the latter for this picture.

Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf) stars as Fred Fitzell, an information analyst who starts obsessing over Cindy, a girl he knew in high school but lost contact with after an episode with a hallucinogenic drug. Obsession turns to visions and we start to see Fred’s life slowly drift away over the span of several timelines, as we all try to find answers behind what really happened.

It’s a mess.

Director Chris Macbride tries to shepherd us along for a bit, but the story jumps around so many times that we’re lost and we stay lost for almost the entirety of the film. We have no character building so we don’t really care about Fred or Cindy, and we’re not given any answers about anything. We’re just strapped to a seat and spun around for 98 minutes. That’s no good.

I’m not going to dunk on the film for this entire post. “Flashback” is a wonderfully edited and technically sound movie from a film making perspective. Everyone knows what they’re doing here. There are sequences that must have been a herculean effort in post production. But it’s wasted on a story that ultimately gives us nothing. There is a perfect ending point that could have made this easier to digest that we just speed entirely by on a course for more confusion.

There is a high degree of difficulty here. Unfortunately, it’s too tough of a task to make this movie enjoyable.

Flashback

GRADE: D

Rated: R

Running time: 1 hour 38 minutes

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