Running Time: 92 mins
Reviewer: David Gillespie -HCF Official Artist
Blade Runner, The Matrix, Strange Days and The Terminator all changed the face of the sci-fi thriller/ fantasy genre. They are all classics in their own right and added something new when things were turning stale. This isn’t something that 2047: Virtual Revolution is likely to do any time soon yet it does share some of the themes and revelations from all of these films. For what it lacks in originality, the directorial debut of Guy-Roger Duvert certainly delivers in arresting visuals, explosive set-pieces and enthusiasm. There is also an intelligent thriller trying to break free amongst the machine gun totting cyborgs, towering robots and …sword wielding witches?
In a futuristic Paris setting that looks very similar to the Los Angeles in Blade Runner, a subcontract exterminator named Nash (Mike Dopud) retains order for one of the gaming giants that controls the activities of the world’s population by hooking them into their virtual gaming systems. Offering users an experience similar to The Matrix, where the host is plugged into their own fantasy world cloaking the harsh and bleak outlook of reality, law and order is controlled and costs are low for the government. In addition to grieving over his recently deceased wife and devolving into his own Game of Thrones style adventure, Nash hunts a group of terrorists who plan to bring an end to the virtual reality world. After recruiting the technical skills of a young hacker (Maximilien Poullien), Nash closes in on the leader of the freedom movement, Camylle (Kaya Blocksage). It begins to occur to the confused enforcer that not only may he be fighting for the wrong cause but that the death of his true love was the result of an unlikely source.
Some may tire or become disinterested with Duvert’s insistence on using similar neon, rotting city landscapes and dilapidated, Victorian interiors as Ridley Scott did in his classic future noir. Even Dupod’s solid performance delivers similarities with in his droll, world weary narrative and the physical resemblance to Deckhard. There is also an episodic and disjointed feeling to the film’s structure as we delve in and out the virtual reality world for one action set-piece after another.
What saves things from falling apart is the undoubted talent of the director. The movie is visually impressive and creates the occasional glimmer of brilliance. Duvert delivers in the action set-piece department and this forms most of the movie’s highlights. There are some welcome injections of humour too with Nash inadvertently entering a suspect’s sleazy virtual reality game involving a lesbian love making session. We are also honoured by the appearance of the legendary Jane Badler (the sexy villain of 1980’s miniseries, V) stamping her authority again as Nash’s corrupt boss. Tragically she is given very little screen time.
2047: Virtual Resolution is no classic but it fulfills all the necessary ingredients to satisfy the beer swigging, curry chomping contingent. It also teases the more refined sci-fi connoisseurs with something greater as its questions what defines freedom and whether the bulk of the human race are ready and want what this will offer them. If Morpheus offered you the red or blue pill, which one would you rather choose?