THE PLOT THUS FAR
Marc (Til Schweiger) is a passionate cyclist and urban slacker whose life changes in an instant when he loses his left leg in a hit-and-run accident. Barely out of the hospital, Marc numbs his pain by rushing back into his old selfish life. But when he falls in love with Nika (Jana Pallaske), he finds the strength to turn his life around.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Having the once and future Hugo Stiglitz play a Canadian trying to overcome a maiming is weird to say the least. However, Til Schweiger carries the material with a sense of quiet dignity that will allow me to forgive the film’s melodramatic shortcomings. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the other cast members. What we have is a film that falls apart due to being top-heavy in talent and anchored down by wooden emotion.
“Phantom Pain” is ultimately undone by its inability to keep focus in the face of material that lends itself to critical ridicule. Why inspirational movies are a dime a dozen, the few successful ones can navigate past their subgenre shortcomings. The whole forcing of memories of Schweiger’s dad seems kind of cheap, but again it’s the trappings of the material. Constant emotional manipulation of the audience just isn’t a Spielberg staple, people.
The DVD comes with interviews and behind-the-scenes featurettes as the sole special features. The A/V Quality is pretty fair for an indie foreign flick, however the Dolby track is so flat. Dialogue was very mumbly, plus you had edge enhancement up and down the transfer. The special features were ok enough, but they felt like fluff pieces for a film that was average at best. In the end, I’d recommend a rental.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!