My immediate reaction to 2047: Virtual Revolution? A not so coincidentally timed shameless Blade Runner rip off. Granted, there’s some definite echoes and familiarity to the acclaimed Ridley Scott cult classic, but 2047: Virtual Revolution has enough to stand on out on its own. For a lower budget film, this is a very creative and enjoyable effort that plays out like a throwback sci-fi movie.
It’s 2047 and the future is now. Not necessarily with a massive technological revolution with wonderful inventions and breathtaking creations. This future sees most of society tapped in to virtual, gaming worlds. People don’t bother with physical interaction as they can be whoever they want in the game portals. There’s a fantasy realm similar to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones complete with dragons flying overhead. Another is more of a sci-fi Destiny-esque realm with armor plated outfits and heavy artillery. For the ‘connected,’ this is their reality and the outside world doesn’t matter.
Director/Screenwriter Guy-Roger Duvert’s premise hardly seems that far off. If people could easily tap in to virtual worlds from their phones, there would probably be a lot of ‘connected’ people in 2018.
Private investigator Nash (Mike Dupod, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) is tasked with stopping the Necromancers, a group determined to destroy the virtual world. For Nash, this assignment is personal as the group is also responsible for the death of his girlfriend.
As a hybrid, Nash spends part of his time in reality and the other in the virtual realm where he’s a knight traveling with a band of adventurers. Nash goes undercover in a realm where his avatar is bombshell Kate (Petra Silander) and discovers the end game for the Necromancers. But after encountering Camyille (Kaya Blocksage), the leader of the Necromancers, Nash starts to question if he’s on the right side.
One of the most impressive elements of 2047 is the action scenes. Duvert does a commendable job with fist fights, swordplay and shootouts. Duvert has a good approach to action with some nice tracking shots and a willingness to let the fight play out without having spastic editing.
Typically, sci-fi is the worst genre for low budget films. The sets look cheap and the effects look like they were from a generation ago. Considering the $3.2 million budget, this is a very impressive looking film. The effects don’t look cutting edge, but they rarely look like first gen CGI. That’s a big win for 2047 as hokey effects will quickly derail most low budget sci-fi films. People focusing on the virtual world instead of the real one is savvy way to explain away the smaller cast.
Cinematographer Cyril Bron does an outstanding job with the lighting of neon blues, reds and yellows. Bron captures the visual style of Blade Runner, which is where the biggest comparisons will occur. Irene Marinari’s set design is equally impressive as she creates three believable worlds.
The acting is probably 2047’s biggest weak spot. Dupod is decent as the worn-down investigator, but he rightfully seems unsure whenever he has to deliver some ill-timed quips. Blocksage has the most layered role and she handles it well. Jane Badler, who plays Nash’s contact, is inconsistent as some of her line readings sound fine while others are too melodramatic. Maximilien Poullein is solid as Nash’s computer ally and Jochen Hagele is appropriately mysterious as an Interpol agent.
At 92 minutes, the film zooms by. In this case, it almost seemed like Duvert could have used another 10 minutes or so to help flesh out some more character motivations. Duvert poses an interesting question in the final act that left me curious enough to revisit the film to look for clues or early tells.
2047: Virtual Revolution isn’t the typical low-budget sci-fi film. It has some strong action sequences and impressive visuals given its scope. Maybe even more importantly, beyond its action sequences, it’s a throwback that leaves compelling questions about the use of technology like so many of its inspirations.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: Wild Eye Releasing