If any movie proves that August is, like Februrary, a month for dumping Hollywood’s bottom of the barrel projects, it’s “The 9th Life of Louis Drax.” I’m already reserving a spot on my Worst Of The Year list for it.
As the movie begins, Aaron Paul and Sarah Gadon are parents of 9-year-old Louis. As they picnic near some cliffs, Louis falls off and crashes on the rocks way below. He’s not dead, but in a coma. When rescuers pull him up, Louis comes under the care of of a pediatric neurologist (Jamie Dornan), who becomes attracted to Louis’ mom.
Where’s dad? Nowhere to be found, so he’s assumed to have killed Louis. The more likely answer is that Aaron Paul was off somewhere trying to fire his agent for not bringing him scripts more worthy of his talents post-“Breaking Bad.”
Meanwhile, back in this movie, we endure flashbacks to earlier in Louis’ life when he was being treated by psychologist Oliver Platt for having lots of accidents and getting hurt all the time. Platt is incapable of a bad performance, but he’s wasted in this treacle. So is Barbara Hershey, who shows up in the last half-hour to add some exposition that doesn’t help. Director Alexandre Aja seems unsure of how to create real emotion, so he throws in too many plot points — including a weird dream involving a seaweed monster (I’m not kidding).
“The 9th Life Of Louis Drax” is an unbearable mess, barely deserving the 1 point I’m giving it on a scale of 10.