“Rebirth” squanders its potential

Look up wasted potential in the dictionary and chances are you’ll see the poster for writer-director Karl Mueller’s Rebirth.

The film opens promisingly enough, introducing to protagonist Kyle’s (Fran Kranz) dull, suburbanite existence which is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of his zany former college buddy Zack (Adam Goldberg).

Zack convinces Kyle to join him on a mysterious weekend retreat at a programme titled Rebirth which, as its name suggests, promises to completely change Kyle’s life.

The first two acts are solid, and seem to be a satirical look at modern self-help culture by way of David Fincher’s 1997 movie The Game.

Kyle encounters a parade of odd and increasingly violent characters and Kyle is left desperately trying to escape from the terrifying cult his friend has become a part of.

It’s not perfect but it is certainly entertaining until the ending.

Out of nowhere, the film throws one last twist at you that completely changes the narrative and undermines the message it spent an hour trying to present to you.

It was pointless surprise for surprise’s sake and leaves you feeling just a little bit cheated.

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