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Borrowed 'Jacket'

By Desson Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 4, 2005; Page W42

Gulf War veteran Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) finds himself in a netherworld of mental confusion and amnesia, the result of a gunshot wound in the head during the war. His brain jumps constantly to the past, present and future. In the past, he revisits the original war incident; a New Year's Day good Samaritan act he did for a young girl and her mother whose truck broke down; and a traumatic event (also on New Year's) in which a cop lies dead and Jack stands accused of shooting him.

In the present, Jack finds himself a guinea pig patient lying in a morgue drawer for an unhinged doctor, played by Kris Kristofferson. And there is the future, to where Jack flash-forwards and meets a woman (Keira Knightley), who just happens to be the girl he helped by the truck. The movie is intriguing for a while, as we slowly get an understanding of Jack's situation and the task he must accomplish with the help of another, more sympathetic doctor (Jennifer Jason Leigh). But it becomes increasingly clear that "The Jacket" is doing nothing but sampling elements of "Jacob's Ladder," "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Memento" without offering more than hackneyed solutions, including a rather cheesy conclusion.

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THE JACKET (R, 103 minutes) --Contains violence, obscenity, sexual scenes and nudity. Area theaters.


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