Steamy, intriguing but above all engaging, Shattered is an effective nineties thriller with a great story. It only looks like one of those weekend psychological mysteries that were so popular during this decade. However, right from the brutal opening scene, it signals that we’re talking about a whole other beast. Based on a novel and directed by Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm, Troy, Outbreak), this is a sturdy and well-crafted movie. Depending on your mood and taste, you will either find the twists and turns clever or pretentious. I have to admit that they were quite satisfactory for my taste. After all, when you play this type of movie you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Sometimes you want to watch just a movie. A movie with a tight narrative that’s interesting enough to keep your attention but not to overburden you. A movie with an immersive atmosphere and the right tone. Shattered is exactly that movie. And while it does feature this sexually-charged atmosphere, it avoids explicit scenes. And don’t get me wrong, there is some nudity and scenes of passionate lovemaking intercut with waves pounding the coast. With Nights In White Satin playing in the background, just to make the nineties cliche complete. However, the engaging story that maintains its quality throughout the movie makes up for that. If you want something sleazy you might wanna check out Fear City from the same year also starring Tom Berenger.
Dan Merrick is one lucky son of a bitch who will not drink and drive again. He just woke up in the hospital after a horrible car accident that left him completely fucked up. Luckily, his wife Judith fell out of the car earlier and got out almost with a scratch. After numerous surgeries, he’s finally released from the hospital. The only problem is that Dan is suffering from amnesia. As he’s trying to figure out what’s going on, he stumbles upon a roll of film that will raise even more questions about what actually happened.
Starring Tom Berenger, Greta Scacchi, and Bob Hoskins, the cast of Shattered is just perfect. Tom was the right choice for the role of confused businessman and Bob was surprisingly entertaining as the PI who loves animals. He added a necessary element of humor to the atmosphere. And what to say about beautiful and incredibly talented Greta Scacchi? In my dreams, she and Sharon Stone are twins who are plotting to kill me in various ways. But enough about that, let’s get back to this great movie. It’s one of those movies that simply fell through the cracks of the nineties’ overproduction. I loved the lavish and imposing exterior locations like the giant shipwreck and sequoia forest. All this makes for one hell of a suspenseful thriller, with a distinct noir vibe.
Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Shattered, I recommend you check out Presumed Innocent, Jagged Edge, Mortal Thoughts, Malice and Deceived.
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writers: Richard Neely, Wolfgang Petersen
Cast: Tom Berenger, Bob Hoskins, Greta Scacchi, Joanne Whalley, Corbin Bernsen, Bert Rosario, Kellye Nakahara, Frank Cavestani
Fun Facts: Bruce Willis turned down the leading role.