The Hand

An increasingly interminable misfire, The Hand follows cartoonist Jonathan Lansdale (Michael Caine) as he loses his hand in a freak automobile accident and subsequently grows convinced that his disembodied appendage has taken on a life of its own. It’s a delightfully over-the-top and pulpy premise that’s employed to continually disappointing effect by writer/director Oliver Stone, as the filmmaker delivers a progressively incoherent narrative that fails, over and over, to live up to the simple pleasures of the seemingly foolproof setup (ie all one wants from a story like this is scene after scene of the hand murdering hapless characters). Stone instead offers up a nonsensical plot that contains few elements worth embracing or caring about, and it’s clear, too, that the film suffers from a dearth of compelling, sympathetic characters – with this extending even to Caine and his completely underwhelming (and somewhat phoned-in) turn as the boorish protagonist. The entirely subpar and endless climax cements The Hand‘s place as an often uncommonly tedious endeavor, and it’s almost remarkable that Stone was able to make more movies after this trainwreck of a motion picture.

1/2* out of ****

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