Frank, an opportunistic lawyer, thinks he’s in for the time of his life when he goes out on the town to celebrate an upcoming promotion with his co-worker, Jeff. But their night takes a turn for the bizarre when Frank is dosed with a hallucinogen that completely alters his perception of the world, taking him on a psychedelic quest through broad meetings, nightclubs, shootouts, and alternate dimensions. As Frank ping-pings between reality and fantasy, he find himself on a mission to find a missing girl, himself - and his wallet.
Starring: Justin Long, Tommy Flanagan, and Katia Winter
Directed by: Gille Klabin
Written by: Carl W. Lucas
To start this review I’ll admit that the last couple of movies I saw that were based on someone doing drugs just didn’t work for me. They weren’t bad, and I realize there’s an audience out there for them. However, I just found myself lost in the madness, and it completely losses my interest. So I took a chance with “The Wave,” in hopes that it could hold my interest, and keep me entertained.
Frank (Justin Long) is experiencing the highs and lows of life. Things are going well at work, but not so much at home. His friend Jeff (Donald Faison) presents him with the opportunity to celebrate his job success and blow off some steam. At first he doesn’t want to, but he eventually makes a life changing decision to go out and celebrate. They meet a couple of ladies while out, and that is the beginning of the end for Frank.
He’s taken interest in Theresa (Shelia Vand), and goes along with whatever she wants. He goes into a room to wait for her and finds himself in front of a guy that eventually gives him a special drug that begins this wild ride. Their conversation is awkward, but not as awkward as waking up alone in the middle of a trashed home. To top it off, the home owners come home to find him there in the middle of the mess. It’s a funny scene, but it just gets crazier.
Reality is blurred for both the audience and Frank from here on out. Sometimes he’s at home, work, or with his friend, and other times he’s in another dimension. He can be in one place and a second later be somewhere else. Also, things can be going fine, and then strange things start happening that only he can see. One of the best scenes is when he goes to a big meeting at work. Everything is going well then slowly he sees his boss and co-workers go into a rage of greed. It might be one of the more extreme scenes, but doesn’t go too far out there.
What’s good about his drug fueled trip is that it isn’t done in vein. He doesn’t remember what happened that night, and fights through the effects of the drug to find Theresa, his wallet, and a way back to reality. The audience has to pay attention to clues, and everyone he meets along the way. Everything eventually adds up to a very creative ending, where things that might not have seemed so important play a role in the ending. Actually the ending is not what I expected, which is a big plus for the movie.
So yes, I finally found a movie with a person on a drug induced trip that kept me interested and entertained. Justin Long is great at bringing out all the ups and downs of his character. He really seemed to fit the role well. The trips outside of reality never went too far for my liking, and it’s good to see everything happen for a reason and not just to be extreme. It certainly didn’t end the way I expected. With that, I give “The Wave” 3.5 pools of blood, and remind you kids that “drugs are bad m’kay?”