The enjoyably daft sci-fi twister starring Ben Affleck is a good jumping-off point for classic intrigues ranging from The 39 Steps and JFK to Soylent Green and The Net
Conspiracy thrillers can excel in two ways. Some strike with enough chilling plausibility to change the way you see the world, or at least the powers controlling it, while others delight with the sheer foil-hatted bonkersness of their plotting.
Hypnotic, an elaborately loopy sci-fi conspiracy twister from B-movie stalwart Robert Rodriguez, falls firmly and unapologetically into the latter category. Audiences weren’t persuaded – it tanked in cinemas – but I think it has the makings of classic midnight-marathon fodder. This is, after all, a film about a gruff cop (a remarkably straight-faced Ben Affleck) gradually uncovering, in the course of investigating his daughter’s disappearance, an elite group of hypnotists behind a spate of bank heists and more seismic world events. Things somehow get more absurd from there, in what plays like a delirious fusion of Christopher Nolan and The Twilight Zone.