In the Argentine thriller "Everybody Has a Plan," the lure of a new life with old trappings draws restless Buenos Aires doctor Agustin (a Spanish-speaking Viggo Mortensen) into the dingy, threat-laced world of his delta-dwelling twin brother Pedro. But the noir-ish contours of writer-director Ana Piterbarg's story yield a frustratingly dissipated movie, one with few storytelling pleasures and an overabundance of forced mood.
Mortensen, a reliably brooding actor who always seems to distrust dialogue as a way to reveal character, is appropriately cast in the dual role of a citified creature willing to engineer an identity shift to exorcise a crushing melancholy, as well as a backwoods denizen comfortable in his own isolated, occasionally criminal existence. Mortensen knows he need do only a bare minimum to hint at the brothers' differences.
But Piterbarg leans on her star's grim blankness so often it drains the film of momentum, especially when Agustin's gambit predictably goes south in the last act. In general, scenes feel disconnected from one another, and the otherwise evocative portrayal of the sleepy, enigmatic Tigre Delta — and a handful of admirably concentrated supporting turns — ultimately get lost in all the willful dreariness.
"Everybody Has a Plan."
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some brutal violence, language and sexuality.
Running time:1 hour, 58 minutes.
At Sundance Sunset, West Hollywood; Laemmle Playhouse, Pasadena; and Laemmle Monica, Santa Monica.