Be prepared for a Jacob’s Ladder type ending when you begin to see Lucid. I’m not really spoiling anything, the film keeps setting you up for it. The whole little twist at the end is actually quite satisfying. It works well and is designed for the kind of film lover who loves to disdain Hollywood clichés. Too bad the rest of the film is so dreary.
Lucid’s biggest problem is that it is boring. It never engages it audience. You know that the little pieces are coming together and in some ways you are eager to see how, but the story that you must follow to get to the end is so tedious and, well, common, that I found myself deciding whether or not I really cared how the whole puzzle was going to come together.
This is the story of Joel Rothman, a psychotherapist who is running a group which is spiraling out of control into their own neuroses. One of the biggest weaknesses of Lucid is that you never buy that Joel is a psychotherapist. He is easily manipulated by his patients, his strategies and advice are pathetic and he doesn’t seem to be able to help anyone, let alone himself. Maybe he is set up as a terrible psychotherapist for a reason but it takes us out of the film. The story would have been more believable if they had found a way to keep him from appearing so out of place.
Movies with a twist end can be very fun but they’ve got to be done right. In the case of Lucid, the biggest failing is that the lead up to the twist is not interesting enough to sustain the anticipation and the audience’ attention wanes.