The Jacket – Filtered
The film centers on a wounded Gulf War veteran who returns to his native Vermont suffering from bouts of amnesia. He is hitchhiking and gets picked up by a stranger, and things go wrong when a cop pulls them over and is murdered by the stranger. The vet is wrongfully accused of killing the cop and ends up in an asylum. A quack doctor prescribes a course of experimental therapy, restraining him in a heavy duty straight-jacket-like device, and locks him away in a body drawer of the basement morgue. During the course of his treatment he gets flashbacks and visions of his future, where he can foresee he is to die in four days’ time. The catch is he doesn’t know how. Thus commences the classic race against time.
“The Jacket” is a dark and disturbing movie starring Adrien Brody as Jack Starks, an amnesiac Gulf War veteran. Jack is a gentleman who believes in helping all those he comes across, especially children. In the opening Gulf War scene, Jack is kind to a child. The outcome of his kindness is his being shot and almost killed. When he returns home his naivete results in his being bludgeoned by a stranger, who murders a police officer (off camera), and then frames Jack for the crime. In acknowledgment of Jack’s service to his country, the court sends him not to prison, but to an asylum for the criminally insane. Once institutionalized, he falls under the care of a Dr. Becker, a sadistic doctor played by Kris Kristofferson. Dr. Becker considers the asylum to be essentially a prison, and patients trusted to his care to be less than human. Under the remorseless Dr. Becker’s supervision, his orderlies beat patients, pump them full of experimental drugs, and deprive them of sensory stimulation by strapping them into a straight jacket and placing them into a morgue drawer sometimes for days at a stretch. While under the influence of these drugs, and trapped in the morgue drawer, Jack’s mind is transported through time, where he meets the alcoholic chain smoking adult version of a young child whom he provided assistance to, just prior to his being framed for murder. The young woman becomes Jack’s lover, and helps him solve the mysteries of his life as well as of his death.
There are scenes of war in the beginning of the film. As no scenes show the actual shooting, the murder of the police officer is implied. Jack’s girlfriend, when he first meets her, does little but drink liquor and sleep. There are brief scenes of nudity, as Jack and his girlfriend are shown in the bed and the bath. Mature underlying themes are present throughout this movie. Due to the violence, sex, and general mature themes of this movie, it cannot be recommended as family viewing material. Dove does not approve this movie.