Having already died once, been labelled insane for a killing he didn’t commit, pumped full of drugs and left to fester in his own nightmarish hallucinations, you’d think Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) deserved a break. For most people, a couple of tumbles with Keira Knightley’s Jackie would suffice, but then she has to go and spoil it all by informing him of his imminent death.
In The Jacket: Project History featurette, Brit director John Maybury talks up his US debut as being far more politically motivated than comes over in the final version. And, with financiers pushing hard for him to cast Knightley against his wishes, it’s possible he was forced to sacrifice intrigue for hand-holding. Indeed, if any of the three alternate endings had been used, answers to the film’s Big Question (is it time-travel or drugs?) wouldn’t have been quite so clear-cut.
With its leaps in time and (says Maybury) “experimental avant-garde” look, The Jacket is more Top Man than TK Maxx. It’s just not quite the Armani headfuck it should have been.