(director/writer: Martin Grof; screenwriter: Magdalena Drahovsk; cinematographers: Jamie Burr/Martin Grof; editor: Stephen Hedley; music: Neil Myers; cast: Eugene Simon (Andrew Cooper), Emily Wyatt (Nadia), Jennifer Martin (May), Bethan Wright (Rebecca), Anil Desai (Shaan), Lorraine Tai (Quinn), Kai Francis Lewis (Yuri), Alastair G. Cumming (Dr. Daniel Marinus); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; producer; Martin Grof: Vertical Entertainment; 2021-UK)
“A sci-fi film that made no sense, as it tells a weird tale about people with enhanced senses.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Brit thriller by Czechoslovakian-born filmmaker Martin Grof (“Excursion”) is co-written by him and Magdalena Drahovsk. Though addressed to the cerebral crowd (my people) and not the action crowd (my other people), the pic failed to register with me. It’s a sci-fi film that made no sense, as it tells a weird tale about people with enhanced senses. The story revolves around a curious young postman named Andrew (Eugene Simon), who submits a DNA test (mails to a government agency a saliva-covered Q-tip) to learn of his lineage and before you can say Holy Cow! he’s recruited into a top-secret superhuman DNA program at a research facility (housed in a mansion in the British countryside). There it’s revealed by the research scientists that he’ll be able to receive, control and send information based on the senses of others.
Dr. Daniel Marinus (Alastair G. Cumming) tells him in an uncomfortable way that his DNA revealed he has a heightened animal-like sensory system (which I think means the boy’s a ‘dog’ when it comes to sniffing). At the research facility he’s housed with others (Bethan Wright, Anil Desai, Lorraine Tai and Kai Francis Lewis) who have the same condition. There he’s supervised by the not too forthcoming Nadia (Emily Wyatt) and May (Jennifer Martin), whose job is to help their charges come to terms with their abilities and prep them for more practical uses for their superior senses.
Andrew has second thoughts about the program he signed up for, as he finds the lines of reality blurring and is not sure if any of his supervisors or fellow subjects are friends or foes.
The film’s problem is not its ideas (like its one on time-bending) but that the script fails in its backstory to clear things up for its second half, where there are big reveals that emerge unclear and unconnected. Though the low-budget film is seemingly executed with enough polish, it lays an egg if you try to follow its plot (as its central premise seems to have been left unexplained).
REVIEWED ON 1/9/2022 GRADE: C+