MindGamers (2017) Review

Wildly-imaginative science-fiction/thriller is a challenging watch.

MindGamers is a 2015 (released in the United States, 2017) sci-fi thriller about a group of students who strive to create a collective consciousness, only to discover something much more sinister at play.

It might be said that the title alone of a filmed called MindGamers might be warning enough that what follows isn’t going to be easy, that we are meant to be twisted about without knowing what on Earth is going on. For many films, this purposeful confusion is instrumental in delivering the payoff. But what if the payoff is the entire film?

To be sure, a film like MindGamers (formerly DxM) is not aiming for mainstream acceptance. This is a movie so clouded by its already lofty ambitions and theories it couldn’t possibly work as anything else than what we get, a stream of breathtaking imagery combined with almost impenetrable dialogue and plotting. That’s doesn’t mean there isn’t some sense to be made of it, only that to approach it as you would any other movie would be a mistake. This is not passive popcorn entertainment, but a staggering challenge that takes aggressive stabs at science and religion, physics and faith … all mixed with a little parkour.

At the prestigious DxM Academy, five exceptionally intelligent students, including Jaxon (Tom Payne), Maddie (Dominique Tipper), Agnes (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), Dylan (Oliver Stark), and Rollo (Turlough Convery) study quantum technology, attempting to merge the human body with next-generation technology. Linking minds, they learn to control other people’s actions remotely, tapping into the mind of parkour champion turned quadriplegic (Ryan Doyle). This all gets them involved with a curious character named Professor Kreutz (Sam Neill), a former priest with an elaborate quantum computer and a mysterious and beautiful red head named Stella (Melia Kreiling) who both seems to have different agendas.

MindGamers, 2017 © Terra Mater Factual Studios

Directed and co-written by Andrew Goth, MindGamers is at least committed to its disorienting storytelling, throwing at the screen a dizzying display of action and imagery that is at best perplexing if not irascibly ill-defined. It makes great effort to apply impressive modern scientific theory to the goings on while coloring it with parallels of the Christian church, even calling the unknown depths and potential of the quantum world a new faith. It’s formidable and daunting stuff and often frustratingly unreachable, and yet, mixed with the story, magnetically compelling, the visuals alone so imaginative and creative, it is like swimming about a four-dimensional math equation, knowing that while it is impossible for us to understand it, there is comfort that meaning to it does exist and because so, has a kind of beauty.

With strange, hypnotic dance movements and lot of dark symbolism, most especially falling from high places, MindGamers is a heavy experience, one that takes about twenty minutes before fully getting its grip. Once it does though, there’s no turning away, the sheer madness of it all making it a curiously rewarding experience. It’s not for everyone, not even close, but there’s much to admire about the experimentation Goth employs, even if he seems content to leave much of his audience in the peripheral. Deeply philosophical and a work of great intelligence, framed by some truly stunning visuals, this is well worth exploring.

MindGamers (2017) Review

Movie description: MindGamers is a 2015 (released in the United States, 2017) sci-fi thriller about a group of students who strive to create a collective consciousness, only discover something much more sinister at play.

Director(s): Andrew Goth

Actor(s): Dominique Tipper, Sam Neill, Melia Kreiling

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller