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Once again, a brilliant foreign language movie ("Das Experiment") is given an English language remake and once again, it fails to do the original justice in any shape or form. If any positives are to be taken from this, then a major one would be it serving as a reminder of how good director Olivier Hirschbeigel's 2001 German film was. Strapped for cash in order to travel to India with his girlfriend (Maggie Grace), gentle mannered political activist Travis (Adrian Brody) decides to take part in a behavioural psychological experiment whereby 20 or so men are chosen to live in a makeshift prison for two weeks. Each of them will assume either the role of guard or inmate but once the doors are locked and they are left to their own devices, things begin to spiral out of control. The fact that this went straight to the DVD shelf when released says it all really. From the offset there are shades of a made for television appearance. This doesn't last for the entirety of the film but the standards don't rise very far above it and the voyeuristic nature of the story will appeal to fans of reality TV shows like "Big Brother". It's strengths, unsurprisingly, lie in the performances; Brody is an excellent leading presence and fine support is delivered by a towering Forest Whitaker but the inclusion of Maggie Grace's love interest is entirely unnecessary, adding little to no substance to the film and could have been completely dropped without it making any difference whatsoever. In retrospect, it's a lazily written script that's the films biggest downfall. Where the original instilled a sense of realism, this version just seems staged. The premise is still thoroughly intriguing though and all the more so, with the knowledge that it was based on a real experiment that took place in 1971 at Stanford University before it all got out of hand. It's decent enough to pass an hour an half of your time but don't expect anything special. It's the performances that make it worthwhile but overall, it's just another example of a completely unnecessary remake. If anyone is unfamiliar with the events or the original German film then this film will go down nicely. However, it'd be wise to seek out Hirschbeigel's version instead.
- MrMarakai, Friday, January 4, 2013
Based on a book and the film Das Experiment, that must have been based on the Stanford Prison Experiment. This film gives an interesting spin on the source material. We, the viewer, are put in the shoes of the prisoners, not exactly sure what's going on, and how far things will be allowed to go. It's tough to watch at times, and keeps your stomach in knots. Some real solid acting going on, especially by Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker. It's a shame this didn't get more exposure.
- itsjustme2004, Friday, November 26, 2010
Love it!!!! Oh the rage I felt identifying myself with Adrien Brody's character WOW. This movie rocks and you can't help but feel the characters emotion and feeling what they are feeling. After seeing this movie I just wanted to fight, I want to fight Forest Whitaker or Cam Gigandet or any other prison guard in this movie. Great Movie!!! 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.
- MANUGINO, Thursday, December 30, 2010