Not this, his first feature released post-Games – it was actually shot before last summer – but as a multiplex ‘comeback’ nonetheless, it is a stonking return.
Re-teamed with old producer and writing partner John Hodge (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting), Trance is a fast-paced, fractured, perception-shifting noir thriller.
James McAvoy is art auctioneer Simon, who’s hit over the head by Cassel’s thieving hood during a heist.
His subsequent amnesia is a big concern after the fact, though, as somewhere deep in the recesses of his mind is the secret to the double-cross that left the art-hungry gang holding nothing but an empty bag.
It’s Boyle doing Inception in many ways, as Simon visits hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), who unlocks all kinds of subconscious-buried impulses, and pickles his grip on reality in the process.
Hodge’s script is ambitious and funny (“everyone knows amnesia is bullshit”, one character quips) and Boyle brings his trademark visual flair (mirrors refract light and images all over the place as Simon descends deeper into disbelief) and infectious energy, with a thumping soundtrack by Underworld’s Rick Smith (another long-time Boyle collaborator).
Where it could have been an overly serious sophisticate, Trance is a loose and cheeky film, too – there are a number of stand-out ‘ick’ moments (a savaged half-exploded head chats away to Simon at one point) and ample flesh on display, male and female.
It’s a mind-warping noir-ish maze you’ll definitely want to get lost in.
Good for: Seeing one of Britain’s best-loved filmmakers back on the big screen
Starring: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel | 18 | 101mins | Out March 27