(director/writer: Jason Lei Howden; cinematographer: Stefan Ciupek; editors: Zaz Montana, Luke Haigh; music: Enis Rotthoff; cast: Daniel Radcliffe (Miles Cassonva), Samara Weaving (Nix), Natasha Liu Bodizzo (Nova), Ned Dennehy (Riktor), Edwin Wright (Scott Pilgrim), Jack Riddiford (Shadwell), J.David Hinze (CNN anchor), Hanako Footman (Ruby), Mark Rawley (Dane), Set Sjöstrand (Fuckface), Colin Moy (Clive); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino, Tom Hern; Hyperion Entertainment; 2019-UK/New Zealand/Germany)
“This is certainly not a film for the Harry Potter crowd, the film series its star became famous for.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The world premiere was at The Toronto International Film Festival.
An uninvolving drug-fueled video game-like actioner/comedy by Jason Lei Howden (“Deathgasm”) that highlights a nonstop chase scene with an absurd plot. Howden understands how to use garish colors for his visuals, but doesn’t understand pacing or how to tell a good story.This is certainly not a film for the Harry Potter crowd, the film series its star became famous for. The cyberpunk film offers a dated and obvious social commentary on the way people are dehumanized by game shows. The violent film brings it with such coarseness where one of the characters yells “suck my clit!”.
The American geek Miles (Daniel Radcliffe, English actor) is a video game coder who gets into a flame war in the comments section of Skizm (an illegal site in which viewers watch real-world death matches conducted on the streets of Shrapnel City). Getting drunk and trolling the followers of Skizm is the only thrills in life left for Miles since his break-up with the hottie Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo).
Skizm’s tattooed-faced evil leader Riktor (Ned Dennehy) reacts to the geek’s trolling by breaking into his apartment with his goons, bolting guns into the bones of his hands and forcing him into a bloodsport showdown with a drugged-up psychopath female named Nix (Samara Weaving).
The nerd is in shit way over his head. It’s a pisser to watch as he tries using his hands of attached guns to do even simple things like piss. While wearing a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, he struggles to use his asthma inhaler without shooting himself, as he’s live-streamed and forced into a life or death battle with Nix while his kidnapped ex-girlfriend Nova is forced into the line of fire by Riktor.
This is a ridiculous escapist film hardly making any sense, as it offers crude characters with an irreverence for life, slipshod slapstick comedy and an anything goes shoot-em-up romp mentality that at times is diverting.
REVIEWED ON 11/5/2019 GRADE: C+