Combustible Celluloid
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With: Dan Stevens, Malin Akerman, Kerry Bishé, Oliver Platt, Peter Mark Kendall, Liza J. Bennett, Skylar Gaertner
Written by: Sharon Mashihi, Ido Fluk
Directed by: Ido Fluk
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 97
Date: 04/07/2017

The Ticket (2017)

1 Star (out of 4)

Smite for the Blind

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

While nicely filmed and decorated with soft visuals and tones, this otherwise heavy-handed, unappealing message drama tries to get its blunt point across in an awkward, obvious, and discomfiting way.

In The Ticket, James (Dan Stevens) has been blind since childhood, but appreciates his life; he is married, to Samantha (Malin Akerman), and has a son, Jonah (Skylar Gaertner). He has a job he likes, and works with his best friend Bob (Oliver Platt). Suddenly he wakes up and his sight is restored. He quickly realizes that his wife — who likes dancing at the community center — is frumpy, and that he, himself, could use some new clothes.

He begins advancing at work, and finds himself attracted to a pretty co-worker Jessica (Kerry Bishe). He becomes something of a master of the universe, luring in new customers to his firm. But he also discovers that his wife has been keeping secrets about their son, and that his friendship with Bob has begun crumbling. Then, just as life is at its most complex, James starts losing his sight again.

The Ticket feels like one of those "Jack Chick" religious comic tracts, warning readers away from the dangers of sin with threats of hellfire and damnation. The main character here squanders his gift of sight with superficiality, chasing money and beautiful girls, forgets his family and friends, and pays a price.

But even with effects like blurry images to indicate blindness, the ghastly way that James discovers that his wife has decorated their home, and the almost constantly whispered dialogue, the movie is extremely simpleminded and hamfisted.

Actor Dan Stevens can't making James anywhere even close to appealing (he's a big jerk), and director Ido Fluk fails to elevate the characters above anything but symbols, flat representations of his harangue against superficiality. Only the reliable character actor Oliver Platt gets in a few good, satisfying moments, mainly at James's expense.

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