James McAvoy works at a high-end London auction house, and gets involved with a sinister art thief played by Vincent Cassel and a sexy hypnotherapist, played by Rosario Dawson. A daring theft sets the serpentine story in motion, but Trance doesn’t know when to quit. After a great opening sequence that hooks you right away, it asks you to buy into a chain of increasingly improbable events. Then, at the climax, it reveals layers of information it has deliberately withheld, causing you to rethink your impression of everything that’s come before. I felt as if I’d been jerked around, and I didn’t like it.
Instead of admiring the ingenuity of the writers at the end, I felt cheated, misled, snookered. Too bad. This had the makings of a really good thriller. Writer John Hodge and Danny Boyle made their reputations together more than twenty years ago with the movies Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. This one isn’t in their league.