FPS FORMAT WORKS
Film Review by Fiore
A short time ago, filmmakers attempted to bring the gaming experience to movie viewers with HARDCORE HENRY. The film concerned an espionage plot all shot from the First-Person Shooter (FPS) perspective of a video gamer. The film did not accomplish its intent. Its storyline was never clearly delineated, and the action was constant chaos and confusion.
A much cleaner and more comprehensible approach to FPS cinematic presentation is KILL SWITCH, from Saban films. The film opens on June 16th in select theatres and On Demand. It’s a decent sci-fi yarn that brings the gaming perspective in grand fashion to everyone, including old codgers like me who exited the gaming experience with the demise of MISSILE COMMAND.
KILL SWITCH runs two different stories, on two different worlds. The storyline which occurs on Earth is told in normal narrative form. The story on Echo Earth is presented in FPS. The technique is clever and more importantly coherent. Credit Editor Wouter van Lujin with making judicious cuts from one realm to the other, while maintaining the present story and the flashback tale. And, he does so while still containing the story in ninety minutes. Bravo!
Writers Omid Nooshin and C. Kindinger piece together a tale picked fresh from today’s Paris Summit Accord headlines. The world is out of fossil fuels, yet energy demands are soaring. A group of elite scientists including Dr. Klinsten, played by Mike Reus, and Abagail Vos, played by Berenice Marlohe,
have solved the world’s energy shortage situation. They will create a parallel Earth, an Echo Earth, devoid of carbon life forms, and use the Echo planet to supply energy to Earth. Luckily, these scientists are not American, so no one can blame President Trump for pulling out of the accord.
Will Porter, played by Dan Stevens, is the best pilot NASA has to offer. The scientists recruit Porter to fly to Echo Earth, plug in their device, and thus provide Earth with an unlimited supply of energy. Things go terribly wrong, and only Porter can right the situation. KILL SWITCH also stars: Bas Keijzer; Tygo Gernandt; and Gijs Scholten van Aschat (I know I hate the dreaded three name people, but this guy went way overboard.)
1.1 KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
1. ATTACK OF THE DRONES
2. THE REVERSE GRAVITY PORTAL
3. THE MED LAB
KILL SWITCH is based off of Director Tim Smit’s short story “What’s In the Box”. The tale not only incorporates the environmental issues of Earth’s increasing desire and need for energy, but also the treacherous complications caused by environmental terrorists. Director of Photography Jacco Van Ree provides easy to comprehend scenes when in FPS mode, and yeoman framing for the narrative. Falling airplanes and trains and boats; robotic operations; military attack drones; and energy beams are all created by Production Designer Romke Faber with sangfroid.
Let’s take a look at the report card for KILL SWITCH:
1.2 ACTING = C
1.3 CINEMATOGRAPHY = B
1.4 LIGHTING = B
1.5 SOUND/MUSIC = C
1.6 EDITING = A
1.7 SCRIPT = B
1.8 SFX = B
1.9 ACTION = A
I had a hard time with HARDCORE HENRY. The entire experience of trying to watch that FPS film was agonizing. KILL SWITCH is just the opposite. The editing switches from narrative to FPS are effective in retelling the story, and keeping viewer interest. The story is good, too. Science gone wrong tales are always interesting, but this one added a nifty twist. Anyone who likes thought provoking science fiction, folks who enjoy FPS visuals, and those who like shows like THE EXPANSE will find KILL SWITCH quite enjoyable.
Watch it when you are in the mood to challenge your mind; much like the disturbance of the time space continuum will do. Money well spent for VOD.