In the tradition of Blade Runner, Ready Player One and Surrogates, comes a cyberpunk neo-noir staring Mike Dupod (X-Men: Days of Future, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Jane Badler (V, V: The Final Battle, Mission: Impossible) and Kaya Blocksage (As Above, So Below, The King’s Daughter) that will make you wonder about the true meaning of freedom. Guy-Roger Duvert’s sci-fi thriller Virtual Revolution has been the recipient of over 40 awards, including Best Film at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and Best Feature at Dragon Con.
The year is 2047. Most of the world’s population chooses to live inside corporate-controlled virtual worlds and drift further out of touch with a mundane reality. Mike Dupod’s Nash, a private investigator, is hired to track down a group of hackers who are disrupting and terrorizing the virtual space, a task that hits close to home. Nash lives life as a hybrid, floating between reality in Neo-Paris and in a medieval land of swords and sorcery. What are the terrorists’ true goals and who will find them first, Nash or the agents from Interpol that are tracking down both sides?
Guy-Roger Duvert won’t win many points for originality when it comes to his script, but he does deserve a good deal of acclaim for his skill as a first-time feature film director. He was confident in his shot selection; the action scenes were well filmed and edited without relying on death by a million cuts to overcome short comings from filming. The film clocks in at 92 minutes, and I think if they were able to find more than an estimated $900,000 in funding, the run time would have been pushed out to a more suitable 2-hours. Because they were lacking funding, the film relies on a higher than normal amount of voiceover to set up the world and progress the plot, as opposed to being able to film it. There are two ideas that save this film from being a good looking generic rip-off of so many things that have come before. First, is the idea about what is true freedom and who should define that. Second is the social commentary about the balancing act between the government, the corporations and the public and how they can support or feed off of each other.
The acting in the film ranges from good to bad, in a scene-chewing kind of way, so even some of the lesser performances add to the entertainment value of the film. Dupod works best in the gruff detective moments compared to his emotional moments, but luckily those are few and far between. Maximilien Poullein, who plays Nash’s hacker brother-in-law, Morel, provides the film with some much-needed charisma and humor in an otherwise dark world.
When Wile Eye Releasing helps Virtual Revolution make its US DVD premier on January 16th, it is worth checking out the indie film that, while borrowing heavily from them, is still more successful than some of its big budget peers.
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