(director/writer: Tony Dean Smith; screenwriter: Ryan W. Smith; cinematographer: Byron Kopman; editor: Tony Dean Smith; music: Matthew Rogers; cast: Adrian Glynn McMorran (James), Magda Apanowicz (Angela), John Cassini (Ray), Frank Cassini (Sal), Aleks Paunovic (Terry), Bill Marchant (Elliot), Jaden Oehr (Young James); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Tony Dean Smith, Ryan W. Smith; Giant Pictures/Prime Video; 2019-Canada)
“A loopy film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The South African filmmaker Tony Dean Smith, in his feature film debut, is the writer and director of this dodgy low-budget sci-fi thriller. It’s co-written by his brother Ryan.
The scruffy James (Adrian Glynn McMorra), the film’s narrator (giving it a film noir touch) is a self-proclaimed clairvoyant ever since a childhood incident of predicting his mother’s death. He lives alone in a dumpy place above an auto shop and has received eviction notices he ignores. He hopes to make a killing one day betting on sporting events when he’s certain of the outcome.
James comes to the attention of gangsters he’s known all his life after rescuing a young attractive woman, Angela (Magda Apanowicz), from being mugged in an alley by thugs, as he envisions her in danger and comes to her aid just in time. The small-time boss’s henchmen (Frank Cassini, Aleks Paunovic) take him to meet their ex-con boss, Ray (John Cassini), who runs a legit warehouse business so he can operate his illegal one. The boss is now convinced that James is a real clairvoyant with this rescue. On the spot he hires James for ten thousand dollars to use his ESP skills to ensure the security of a bag of stolen diamonds from “The Zimbabweans” he possesses and to determine how they can be safely fenced. Ray even lets James take the ice back to his apartment so he can think better, but has his henchmen go along so the clairvoyant doesn’t get any bright ideas about how he can steal the jewels. Just in the nick of time James envisions that the henchmen, with one being Ray’s cousin (in real life they are brothers), have plans of their own to snatch the diamonds and become rich. So James quickly escapes out his window, dragging Angela with him and they flee in her vehicle.
The likeable James also foresees his own death, and also begins a romance with Angela. The couple turn for help to his estranged foster father, Elliott (Bill Marchant), his former mentor. With that, the mentor provides his troubled pupil with a serum so he can time travel to the past. At this point into the film, about forty minutes, my head starts to spin as the twist in the story has it relentlessly veer back and forth in time.
It seems James has to fix the mess he made in his past life if he wants to survive intact (some guys have all the karma!).
The actors give strong performances, the crazy story, even though it’s very slight, is fun, and if you can handle a loopy film on your own volition this one probably won’t disappoint you because its clever in a sassy way (as it questions if fate can be altered) and might also make you forget its improbabilities (even with a miraculous ending).
REVIEWED ON 7/18/2020 GRADE: B