Based on Richard Neely's novel The Plastic Nightmare, Petersen's first American feature is a credible and gripping thriller, using ambiguous clues and a complex flashback structure to draw us into the dark heart of an amnesiac maze. Berenger plays a wealthy architect whose life is shattered when he and his wife (Scacchi) plunge over a cliff in their car. Emerging from a coma, he has his face reconstructed, but his memory of the crash has been erased. When he tries to reassemble his life with the help of his wife, who was thrown clear, some pieces of the jigsaw just won't fit. Photos of Scacchi with another man lead him to private eye Hoskins, whom he had hired before the accident to spy on her infidelities with a mystery lover. Meanwhile, his partner's wife (Whalley-Kilmer) is insisting that she and Berenger had been having a torrid affair. Knowing only what Berenger knows, we share his sense of disorientation and vulnerability, while Petersen's sure-footed script and controlled direction eschew self-conscious homage for good old-fashioned adult entertainment.
Cast and crew