FIN STREAM REVIEW: Eckhart gives Oscar-worthy performance in exceptional conspiracy thriller Wander

For anyone who wondered what an off-kilter, slightly insane Aaron Eckhart might have looked like as Two-Face in The Dark Knight sequel, here’s a glimpse.

Oddly enough. 2008’s Harvey Dent is paired with classic Batman Forever’s Two Face (Tommy Lee Jones) in this batshit, wild, stark raving mad film Wander.

Director April Mullen — who made the incredible Below Her Mouth — makes a film decidedly the opposite, and in Wander, she’s found a film destined to become a Midnight Madness classic.

Eckhart stars as homicide detective-turned-P.I. and conspiracy theorist Arthur, searching for answers in all the strangest places following a car crash that killed his young daughter and put his wife in a wheelchair.

He chums around with his similarly strange, but a bit less bizarre friend Jimmy (Tommy Lee Jones), and the two sit under the stars and talk connivance and collusion in the world as they see it.

But when Arthur is called — by money and an intimate wish for the truth — to the small town of Wander to investigate a strange murder that may answer some questions about his family’s accident, he gets more than he could have bargained for.

Not since 2005’s Stay, directed by Quantum Of Solace and Monster’s Ball auteur Marc Forster, has there been a film so exceptional in the genre that its potent energy is impossible to ignore.

Eckhart is, quite frankly, brilliant. He’s the best he’s been since The Dark Knight, and his performance is so good — he’s so dialed in — that he dazzles as this feverish, fervent investigator right to the bitter end.

The supporting cast, including Lee Jones, Heather Graham and an always-welcome Brendon Fehr are fantastic, but it’s Eckhart who shows, once again, he’s one of the most undervalued stars in Hollywood.

Director Mullen and consistent collaborator (writer) Tim Doiron have created a film so intelligent and visually alluring that it will hit you from the first frame. Wander is a masterpiece in the making, and a genre film unlike any other in the last five years.

5/5 Stars

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