Wander is a low rent conspiracy thriller
Director April Mullen takes a break from television to return to feature films in Saban Films Wander. Opening with the murder of a woman in the small town of Wander, the movie stars Aaron Eckhart as Arthur Bretnik is a mentally unstable conspiracy theorist and private eye with a traumatic past. Arthur spends his night's Podcasting with fellow conspiracist Jimmy Cleats (Tommy Lee Jones).
After being hired to investigate a possible murder cover-up in the small town of Wander, Arthur finds himself plunged into a world of lies and deceit, as he quickly suspects the murder may be part of the same "conspiracy cover-up" that caused his daughter's death. Increasingly paranoid, Arthur's sanity is put to the test while attempting to filter fact from fiction. At the same time, as he tries to solve the case, he’s questioning if he is a pawn in a much bigger game.
Wander was another film that I rented over a rainy weekend to pass the time. Despite the talented combination of actors Aaron Eckhart and Tommy Lee Jones, I didn't expect much from the film. Wander is written by Tim Mullen, who frequently collaborates with director April Mullen. Wander is just a cluttered mess. I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist myself, but the film only becomes laughable.
I understand that we are supposed to feel something for Arthur as his character is reeling from his daughter's loss in a devastating accident that left him with a limp. In addition, his wife is buried so deep inside her mind that she needs constant care and no longer communicates. But for me, the storyline doesn't work, and perhaps this is due to Eckhart's previous work. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I wanted Eckhart to reach the heights he did in The Dark Knight or Thank You for Smoking but come on, his acting here is borderline horrendous.
Tommy Lee Jones, for lack of a better word, is playing Tommy Lee Jones. Perhaps if the film had swapped out his character with the one that Heather Graham plays, then the film's so-called twist ending would've worked better. Graham, too, is on autopilot and only there to get a check. The rest of the supporting cast isn't much better, which is surprising when you have Katheryn Winnick and Raymond Cruz's talents.
Director April Mullen appears to have made the film for Qanoon followers and those who follow deep conspiracies. There's nothing wrong with going outside the traditional narrative for a movie. Still, overall as a film, Wander is slow, confusing, and just a mess. Fans of the two lead actors may find something to enjoy. However, I recommended everyone else revisit 1997's Conspiracy Theory.
Final Grade : D