FILM REVIEW: 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION - Making Trench Coats Sexy Again!
2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION starring: Mike Dopud, Jane Badler, Jochen Hägele
Written and Directed by Guy-Roger Duvert
Have you ever wondered what a hybrid of BLADE RUNNER and THE MATRIX would be like?
No? Yeah, neither have I. Thankfully though, writer-director Guy-Roger Duvert did with his new movie 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION. In this sci-fi mystery thriller, we meet Nash (played by Mike Dopud), a character made somewhat from the same mold as classic detectives like Harrison Ford's Deckard or Chandler's Philip Marlow. However, unlike the hard-boiled and contemporaneous Marlow who disdained the hypocrisy and vice of the world he inhabited, Nash seems both indulgent and indifferent to it.
You see, Nash is a hybrid, a person who lives in both the connected and disconnected realities of the film's dystopic future. On-line, he's the leader of a band of D&D-like characters who go on a series of adventures fighting dragons and goblins. But in the real world, Nash is a hired gun working for the corporation that provides the virtual reality networks that millions of people choose to live in; in fact, according to Nash, these folks who choose to live in these computer-generated realities account for about seventy-five percent of the world’s population.
Synternis, the corporation that controls most of the VR networks, sends Nash out to take out anyone who endangers the networks and/or harms the gamers. The reason being that Synternis wants to avoid any liability from people who might think they are not safe from terrorists (while living out their own personal realities) and also to avoid any governmental take-overs of the networks. Because Nash lost someone he loved due to a terrorist attack on the networks, Nash is morally ambivalent about killing anyone who threatens the VR world. Eventually, Nash meets a group of these cyber-terrorists in the real world, and they give him some startling information not only about the death of his lover, but also their goal to shut down the networks so that the people who live in them will be forced back into the real world and decide to change it.
While much of the writing and the message of the film can get preachy in terms of its arguments for and against the VR world, Duvery-on the plus side- undeniably creates a visually engaging movie. His use of lighting to inform the audience on the difference between Nash’s dark and muted dystopian world vs. the lively VR worlds are clever and well done. Dupod himself is very well cast as Nash and brings a gritty, haggard look to the story that makes him very believable. Still, I will say that, at times, it seems like Duvert goes to great lengths to make Dupod look like Harrison Ford.
If there are any downsides to this movie, it's Duvert’s need to make a movie that’s a love letter to BLADE RUNNER. The fact that he feels the need to recreate a world that looks like that of BLADE RUNNER instead of something more original, might compel fans to think, ‘Rip-off’. Also, there is the protagonist's (in this case, Nash's) constant use of narration through much of the movie that again rings similar to BLADE RUNNER. While I'd say that it’s useful to explain some world-building points to the audience using this device, it can sometimes become distracting when watching the rest of the movie.
This point actually bring me to my next issue, and that's the unneccessary subplots checkered throughout the film. For example, one such subplot that comes to mind concerns a group of corrupt Interpol cops who want to gain greater control over the corporation. While this subplot might have been interesting in a series (8-12-episode) format, in the context of a full length feature, it's not needed in furthering the plot of the film.
All in all, despite the issues mentioned, 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION is a fun and sometimes clever movie, worth the time of any sci-fi fan who is in need of a virtual reality fix. The film itself remains consistent with Duvert's previous movies CASSANDRA and EYEBORGS, both of which deal with technology and humanity's connection to it.
Overall grade: B-
2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION arrives on DVD on January 16, 2018.