The question that was pounding through my mind the entire time I was watching James Mangold’s Identity was ‘ why did I like this so much when I was 15?’ I really did. I loved it. I thought it was the most brilliantly executed twist ending ever. I loved the characters, the acting, and the plot. I loved it.
In preparation for this review, I rewatched the film. It was not the nostalgia filled joyride I expected. The movie sucked. It was lame, it telegraphed its every move and the Multiple Personalities element of it felt completely contrived.
I’m not sure why I fell so head over heals in love with it when I initially saw it, but upon second viewing I can safely say it will be my last.
The film centers on a group of occupants who are trapped at a motel during a massive storm. Eventually, as these films are want to do, people in the motel start being killed off, mysteriously.
And we go from there.
I mean, literally. People start dying and then we just kind of run around the motel for two hours until… dum dum DUUUUUUM! You find out that no one is real! They’re all personalities inside a serial killer’s brain!
Amazing, right? Aren’t you just so totally stunned and shocked? Aren’t you questioning your faith? Aren’t you debating becoming a suicide bomber because this movie has so thoroughly fucked your life and reduced it to such a meaningless heap of rubble that killing yourself in its honor seems like the only logical and moral thing to do?
Face it, friend, your life is never going to be the same.
Because this plot twist is so Shamalan in it’s own self-aggrandizement that it ruins any possible shred of decency that the film has going for it.
What I really don’t get is how James Manigold goes from making Kate and Leopold and Identity to Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma? How does that happen? And then the kicker? He makes Knight and Day! What! There must be two James Manigolds. This is some Prestige thing happening. There are two brothers sharing one life and they’re alternating movies.
Fingers crossed The Wolverine is more along the Walk the Line/3:10 to Yuma end of things.