Cox and Hirsch play father and son coroners who receive a mysterious homicide victim with no apparent cause of death. As they attempt to identify the beautiful young “Jane Doe,” they discover increasingly bizarre clues that hold the key to her terrifying secrets.
Good publicity and awesome trailers built pretty good hype for The Autopsy of Jane Doe. I’m usually afraid of hype as it has a tendency to let me down, but The Autopsy of Jane Doe was sporting some really fantastic actors in Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox. Also, the film was directed by André Øvredal, who gave us the phenomenal Trollhunter. The excitement was there, the director was there, the cast was there… so did it all magically come together? The answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no; The Autopsy of Jane Doe is more of a mixed bag.
The film has a very cliched build up; a thorough yet interesting introduction to our lead characters followed by the predictable yet entertaining catalyst. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The execution is fantastic and the film cleverly absorbs you into the story through the ever growing mystery that is Jane Doe. I suppose that the film’s greatest strength is that it is somewhat unique plot-wise, which is not a very common occurrence these days. It’s always nice to have a new idea rather than a re-imagining of something we’ve seen a hundred times before.
This is one of those films that is very reliant on pace. It very skillfully ebbs and flows between the intriguing, macabre cadaver and the father-son relationship that is (arguably) the central focus of the film. Unfortunately, that is pretty much as deep as the film dares to dip its toes. The reveal is pretty standard, if not predictable, but the film remains nonetheless enjoyable throughout its entirety.
Its original-ish story was, unfortunately, unable to save it from what can only be described as a canon ending by playing it far too safe and not pushing the envelope. It is a really well made, yet incredibly average film. Great for a date night and most definitely deserving of a watch, I give it a solid three out of five stars. Catch the Trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments.
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