If The Hangover took a hit of LSD and melted into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, then tripped into the space-time continuum, hitting A Scanner Darkly and Waking Life on its way down, you’d get something like The Wave.
Justin Long (a prolific film actor who you probably know best as "Mac" in that series of Apple commercials) stars as Frank, a corporate lawyer who is about to make a big chunk of change for his firm after finding a discrepancy in an insurance claim. He also seems to kind of hate his life, or at least it’s so mundane and his wife is such a pain that it doesn’t take much for his friend and colleague Jeff (Donald Faison) to talk him into enjoying a (Tuesday) night out on the town.
Of course, it’s not long before he meets a mysterious woman, gets lured to a wild house party, and ingests a drug that’s supposed to hit you “like a wave.” Instead, he wakes up in the same spot, finds his world has been turned upside down, and must retrace his steps from the night before in order to figure out what happened.
There’s nothing really fresh in the premise, but throw in some existential ideas about karma and time and the consequences of the decisions we make, and why we make these decisions (do we even know?)—then add in some high-quality hallucinogenic camerawork, vibrant visuals, rotoscope animation, believable (and occasionally clever) dialogue, and a few over-the-top characters, and you’ve got yourself an entertaining 87 minutes.
But don’t think too hard about the plot twists or the rules of Frank’s universe, because it will all fall apart. Just buy the ticket, sit back, and enjoy the ride.