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'Everybody Has a Plan' review: The epitome of 'blah'

*1/2 (out of four)

All bleak atmosphere and no story, “Everybody Has a Plan” proves that a film that can in fact be dull enough to waste not one but two roles for the usually engaging Viggo Mortensen.

The actor (“A History of Violence,” “Lord of the Rings”) plays Agustin, a Buenos Aires pediatrician who’s tired of his work and marriage for extremely vague reasons. When his identical twin brother, Pedro (also played by Mortensen), diagnosed with terminal cancer, turns up and asks Agustin to put him out of his misery, the doctor assumedly recalls the plotlines of his favorite telenovelas and decides to pose as Pedro after doing what his brother asks.

Here’s a question, Agustin: Is Pedro’s life really better? After saying you’re no longer interested in adopting a baby, you bail on your job and wife (Soledad Villamil) to try your hand at beekeeping while occasionally being threatened by the goons looking for Pedro’s missing partner in crime. I know you’re happy to cozy up to your bro’s 20-year-old assistant (Sofia Gala) who thinks you’re Pedro, but you could just go somewhere else, where you don’t have to spend your entire life maintaining a ruse.

Mortensen almost always contains layers when little happens around him, but writer-director Ana Piterbarg provides few dimensions to the characters and labors to stretch a short story into two hours of well-rendered mood and poorly told exposition. Her attempt to use bees as a metaphor for people, on the other hand, is as gentle as a hive falling on your head—which at least would deliver more excitement than people routinely gazing at old photographs and hoping they’ll fill in the gaps.

Nope, still confused, still bored.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

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