2047: Virtual Revolution Review
2047: Virtual Revolution is a sci-fi thriller where most of the population spend all their time online, connected into virtual worlds, and don’t care anymore about reality.
The fear that technology will eventually overtake us as a species is in many ways a legitimate issue, especially as we witness our ever-increasing dependency on it to sustain our existence. Perhaps most distressing, at least on a social level, is our addiction to the escapism it provides, and movies have long taken to the idea that a virtual world will be the harbor of humanity in the not-too-distant future. So it is that Guy-Roger Duvert‘s latest 2047: Virtual Revolution doesn’t really hit with much impact as commentary, mostly because the message is antiquated by now, but as a casual techno-thriller, it’s certainly zealous in its ambitions.
In the titular 2047, the world is connected on an epic scale, with nearly the entire population spending all their time in a virtual environment, most of them immersed in role-play gaming universes. Nash (Mike Dopud) is a ‘hybrid,’ splitting his time between both worlds, the real and virtual, hired by Dina (the underused Jane Badler), his handler at a massive gaming company called Synternis to be a sort of online assassin, searching and destroying terrorists necromancers infecting and killing gamers. As his seedy investigation ramps up, he learns that these terrorists might not be what they seem, and more so, perhaps aren’t responsible for the death of his lost love.
I was hoping to get through this review without mentioning the obvious parallels to the Blade Runner universe, but Duvert – and the studio – seem aggressively intent on making sure that this connection is clear, even renaming the film for its US DVD release to include the date ‘2047’, a direct reference of sorts to the latest chapter in that series. Paris, where this movie takes place, is practically a re-imagining of Ridley Scott‘s vision and the filmmakers work hard to keep the whole affair as closely tied to that highly influential film, and it sequel, as possible. Getting past the aesthetics though, the story is of course divergent, though not altogether innovative. However, Duvert, in his feature length debut, and who wrote the screenplay, throws just about everything he can at the screen, from large mech-robot fights to flying cars to rebellious humans trying to save the world and much in-between. There’s no lack of neo-noir sci-fi ambition.
Nash, well-played by Dopond, eventually employs the help of an underground hacker named Morel (Maximilien Poullein), which in time leads him to Camylle (Kaya Blocksage), a leader in the terrorist movement attempting to bring Synternis down. There’s an amusing moment when he hacks into a gruff necromancer’s chair, only to find himself in the nude body of a beautiful blonde warrior (Petra Silander), who then kicks some butt of her own. These are clever spins that help to make the otherwise standard plotting a little more fun, though the film is more interested in the action than the commentary. Duvert does well trying to emulate the look and feel of video gaming, especially in the larger action set-pieces, but it’s set back a bit by the film’s limited budget, despite how much he does manage to accomplish.
There are larger questions at play if you dig deep enough, and for fans of the genre, there will be plenty to satisfy. This is a well-made movie and the cast is both good to look at and deliver. However, from the deadpan narration to Duvert’s overindulgence in homaging Scott, 2047: Virtual Revolution loses momentum as it clings to style over substance, perhaps missing opportunities to have more to say. Still, it’s great to see the iconic Badler in the genre again and if anything, Duvert, shows a lot of competency. As a proving ground, this makes it clear he has a lot to offer.
2047: Virtual Revolution releases on January 16.
2047: Virtual Revolution Review
Movie description: 2047: Virtual Revolution is a sci-fi thriller where most of the population spend all their time online, connected into virtual worlds, and don't care anymore about reality.
Director(s): Guy-Roger Duvert
Actor(s): Mike Dopud, Jane Badler, Jochen Hägele