Facebook Twitter

EXIT PLAN: 1 ½ STARS. “plan to hit the exit button on your remote.”

The name “Exit Plan” sounds like one of those 1990s direct-to-VHS action titles that might have starred Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson or someone with a famous last name like Don Swayze, Frank Stallone or Chad McQueen. That this movie, new to VOD this week, stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, he who played Jaime Lannister on the blood-soaked “Game of Thrones,” would further suggest chills and thrills.

Instead, it is an anti-action, minor key movie. A film so stark and dreary that you might want to plan to hit the exit button on your remote.

Coster-Waldau plays Max, a mild-mannered insurance investigator who shares his life with wife Laerke (Tuva Novotny) and cat Simba. His latest case, the disappearance of man, presumed dead, leads him to a place called the Hotel Aurora, a Scandinavian resort where people go to meet their “beautiful end.” It’s a fortuitous turn of event for Max, whose attempts to hang and drown himself were unsuccessful. He’s suffering from an inoperable terminal brain tumor and wants to end it all before the pain becomes too much for him and his family to bear.

But, what seems to be the answers to his problems raises some very troubling questions in Max’s mind.

“Exit Plan” deals in some heavy human dilemmas but is as cold and angular as the glass and steel that make up the façade of the Hotel Aurora. The mix-and-match of real and illusory makes Max’s existential crisis hard to grasp, impossible to care about.

Even the meaning of a late-stage mystery twist, as Max decides he wants out of the hotel, is obscured by flashbacks and dream sequences, leading to a conclusion that promises to make a point but fails to deliver. Add to that obtuse dialogue like, “You can go but you can’t escape,” that sounds like a rough draft of the “Hotel California” lyrics and you have a movie that promises much but delivers very little.

Comments are closed.