Review by Lauryn Angel
Asiel Norton’s Orion is set in a post-apocalyptic world that seems to have descended into a Dark Age – a plot which reminded me a lot of Walter M. Miller Jr.’s novel A Canticle for Liebowitz, with the exception that in Norton’s film, the world has ended a mere century before, rather than a millennium. And to be honest, the story of Orion is not as good as Miller’s.
David Arquette plays The Hunter, a wanderer who manages to survive by scavenging and hunting rats for food. He is plagued by voices that make vague prophecies that he will live forever and that he is “the one.” In his wandering, he stumbles upon the home of The Magus (Goran Kostic), a shape-changing magician who keeps The Virgin (Lily Cole) prisoner. The story is centered on The Hunter’s attempt to free The Virgin.
The film is visually intriguing, the abandoned buildings that provide the backdrop aren’t so different from the hovels and henges of films set in the medieval era, and the costumes reflect a similar aesthetic. Norton uses the device of tarot-style cards to present the acts in the story – which is good, because the story isn’t the easiest to follow. In fact, the storytelling is the real problem with the film. The story is straight-forward enough: it’s basically the Hero’s Journey. It’s under-developed, and instead of character development, we are given long, repetitive shots of The Hunter pondering his destiny, with an internal monologue that consists of overlapping repeated whispers. A little of this goes a long way; unfortunately, Norton gives us a lot of it.
Perhaps I expected too much from Orion. Unfortunately, the film was ultimately disappointing.
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