After winning Oscars in 2006 for their roles in 'The Last King of Scotland' and 'Dreamgirls,' respectively, Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson worked together on a film called 'Winged Creatures.'
With a cast that includes Kate Beckinsale, Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Jackie Earle Haley, Josh Hutcherson, Embeth Davidtz, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Robin Weigert, the movie seemed, at the the very least, promising. Not quite.
It was shelved for three years while producers tried to find a distribution company. Now, with its new title, 'Fragments,' this Rowan Woods-directed film will be released in a limited number of theaters on July 31, with a DVD release date set for Aug. 4.
Having seen the film, I can say that it should've gone straight to DVD. It's abysmal. How does a film with a cast this good get overlooked for theaters initially? Simple: a poor script.
The film follows the lives of Carla Davenport (Beckinsale), Charlie Archenault (Whitaker), Anne Hagen (Fanning) and her best friend Jimmy Jasperson (Hutcherson), who witness a random shooting in a restaurant.
Anne's father is one of the victims, and his death leads her down a path of devout religious instruction. Charlie, in contrast, becomes a mute.
As the waitress who worked at the restaurant, single mom Carla does what she can do to escape the loneliness that sets in after the murder.
Despite its very impressive lineup, this film is full of inconsistencies and moves at a slow pace. So many performances are wasted.
Instead of making a decent film about post-traumatic stress and the very human responses to it, what we get are overbearing, depressing performances that leave you feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Hudson, while convincing, is underused, as is Haley.
'Fragments' fails to do what 'Crash' accomplished: connecting different plot points around a central narrative. Instead, the material that feels predictable and disturbingly unemotional.