“What does Marsellus Wallace look like?” Asks Jules Winnfield from Brett in “Pulp Fiction.” Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Vincent Vega pulls out the case he and Jules have been looking for from a cupboard. A bright golden light shine on Vincent’s face from inside the case after he opens it. “We happy?” asks Jules to Vincent. Vincent, with great satisfaction, answers, “Yeah, We happy.” The point we are trying to make here is that all it takes are a few strong moments to establish the significance of a case. The above-mentioned conversation is a part of one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history. And it is just a few people talking about a missing case of significance. But “Blackout,” even with its hour and a half of approx. runtime isn’t able to establish the importance of “the case” on point the way it should have. It rather relies on action and the reactions of the different characters to further the plot revolving around the case, which gets boring after a while. It is John Cain, played by Josh Duhamel, in his pitch-black suit, who manages to help us sit through the film till the end, if at all. There are many other things to talk about in the film. But before that, let’s find out what happens in the film “Blackout”.
‘Blackout’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Ethan McCoy (Nick Nolte) of the DEA is carrying out a search inside a burned-down house and is looking for Cain. Unable to find any evidence, he orders his men to track Cain wherever he is. Meanwhile, John Cain wakes up in a Mexican hospital without having any idea of who he is or how he got there. A woman by his side, Anna (Abbie Cornish), claims to be his wife. There is also a guy named Eddie (Omar Chaparro) who is supposed to be his friend. Eddie promises to help him bring his memory back. He then makes his way to the doctor, under whose care Cain is, and threatens to kill his family unless he brings back Cain’s memory by any means necessary.
With time, as Cain’s memory comes back to him in bits and pieces, he finds that those around him aren’t what they seem. There are people in the hospital trying to kill him. He finds out that they are looking for a case he had in his possession before he landed in the hospital. He stole it from General Mondejo, head of the army, someone to whom all the cartels report, and then went off-grid. And since he arrived at the hospital, Eddie has been trying to administer memory drugs to bring his memory back so that he can remember the location of the case. McCoy tells him that he is DEA. Anna tells him that he was recruited by the CIA. With people bent upon killing him and so much information to process, will John Cain be able to come out of his “blackout”?
Who Is John Cain?
John Cain’s memory loss affects his judgments of those around him. It’s like a new life, but he isn’t a newborn who has to learn everything from scratch. A person with memory loss remembers the mother language and is conscious of everything that is around them and the society they live in. They only forget about their identity. The same happened with Cain. What makes coming out of his “blackout” overwhelming is how his mind is bombarding him with all the things he learned as an agent that somehow got buried due to the accident he suffered from.
The film, in exploring how Cain gets back his memory, sways away from the question it apparently intends to answer, i.e., what is inside the case. But the fact is, Cain doesn’t get his memory back either. He just learns about the things that have led him to his present condition. It is only we, the viewers, who are shown his past with Eddie and Ethan. We don’t even get to know Anna, who works for the CIA, or so we are told. This is what makes Cain’s realization (at the end of the film) that Anna is indeed his wife ineffective. If only the film had shown something more about Cain’s past and how he got involved with the cartel and Anna, things would have made more sense and thus been more effective.
Also, Eddie tells Cain that he knew Cain was DEA (McCoy told Cain earlier that he was DEA), and they both decided to “play” DEA by stealing the case and bringing it to General Montejo. Later on, it is Anna who confirms that John Cain is indeed DEA, but he was recruited by the CIA to recover the case. So, we do not really know what Cain intended to do with the case. Did he decide to give it to the CIA or steal it with Eddie? He is processing all the information in a different manner now, and every action of his is instinctive rather than motivated.
‘Blackout’ Ending Explained: What Was Inside The Case?
Toward the end of the film, Anna recovers the case from the doctor’s chamber. We also find out that the doctor actually helped Cain by making him forget his memories so that the bad guys (Eddie and the others) couldn’t kill him. At the very end of “Blackout,” it is revealed that the case has “the names and addresses of the Illuminati”… “the puppeteers and the puppets…” [that run the world]. As cool as it sounds, we don’t get to see anything related to the contents of the case. Even McCoy turns out to be another bad guy trying to get his hands on the case.
By revealing what the case has and how multiple parties want it, the film also puts forth a take on the power struggle. “It’s about order,” says Anna to Cain, addressing the importance of the case. Keeping in mind how information is power during present times, any one person with all that intel (that can “destroy the government,” according to Anna) can certainly become an international threat, compromising relations among nations and causing disorder and chaos. When Cain went off the grid, he compromised the order. Why? Perhaps because he realized how dangerous it could be in the hands of the wrong person. It was Cain’s good fortune that his doctor hid it somewhere where no one could find it unless they looked hard. Anna did.
Anna and Cain run away with the case at the film’s end after killing all of McCoy’s men. Cain shoots McCoy as well, but it’s only a flesh wound. One can address the ending of “Blackout” as an open ending, as there is no knowing what Cain and Anna will do with the case. No single organization should have it in its possession. Such things should be destroyed unless there is a place where they can be locked away until the time comes to bring them out again.
“Blackout” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Sam Macaroni.