Shattered

Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen's debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in.

With:
Tom Berenger Bob Hoskins Greta Scacchi Joanne Whalley-Kilmer Corbin Bernsen Theodore Bikel

Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in.

Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a project he was contemplating even before his breakthrough success with Das Boot 10 years earlier. Unfortunately, the roles the actors fill are nearly all unappetizing or uninteresting, leaving the audience with no emotional investment in their fates.

A devastating car wreck leaves an upscale Bay Area real estate developer (Tom Berenger) a disfigured mess, although his wife (Greta Scacchi) escapes virtually unscathed. Although plastic surgery restores his good looks, husband’s memory is a blank. Berenger eventually learns that he and his wife weren’t getting along well before the accident and that she was having an affair with a certain Jack Stanton. Enter a private detective (Bob Hoskins), enlisted to help Berenger try to figure everything out.

Berenger manages character’s outward anguish and bafflement but is not one who makes himself vulnerable enough to invite the viewer into his skin or mind. The ever-gorgeous Scacchi has the meatiest role, that of a scheming liar accustomed to always getting her way, but full, Bette Davis-style impact of the role is missed. Hoskins enlivens things as a p.i. who works out of a pet shop.

Shattered

Production: Capella/Connexion/Geissler. Director Wolfgang Petersen; Producer Wolfgang Petersen, John Davis, David Korda; Screenplay Wolfgang Petersen; Camera Laszlo Kovacs; Editor Hannes Nikel, Glenn Farr, Richard Byard; Music Alan Silvestri; Art Director Gregg Fonseca

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 98 MIN.

With: Tom Berenger Bob Hoskins Greta Scacchi Joanne Whalley-Kilmer Corbin Bernsen Theodore Bikel

More Film

  • Ken Jeong Calls Out Hollywood's 'Cultural

    Ken Jeong Calls Out Hollywood's 'Cultural Insensitivity'

    Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in. Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a […]

  • The Summer's Vital Movie Trend: People

    The Summer's Most Important Movie Trend: People Still Love Going to the Movies!

    Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in. Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a […]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Doesn’t Represent All Asians Everywhere, And That’s Fine (Column)

    Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in. Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a […]

  • The Meg

    'The Meg' Remains No. 1 at International Box Office, Tops $300 Million Worldwide

    Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in. Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a […]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Dazzles With $34 Million Five-Day Opening

    Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in. Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a […]

  • 'Billionaire Boys Club' Review

    Film Review: 'Billionaire Boys Club'

    Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in. Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a […]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    'Crazy Rich Asians' to Top 'The Meg's' Second Weekend

    Shattered goes to pieces almost instantly. A far-fetched thriller about unlikable characters, Wolfgang Petersen’s debut American feature aspires to Hitchcockian suspense and surprise, but the parade of hokey implausibilities puts the viewer off rather than drawing one in. Petersen assembled an attractive cast to populate his adaptation of Richard Neely’s novel The Plastic Nightmare, a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content