Monday, October 14, 2013

Zenith (2010)

Number Rolled: 10
Movie Name/Year: Zenith (2010)
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Vladan Nikolic
Writer: Vladan Nikolic
Actors: Peter Scanavino, Jason Robards III, Ana Asensio, Didier Flamand, Al Nazemian, Zohra Lampert, Moises De Pena, Tim Biancalana, Michael Cates, Ohene Cornelius, Arthur French, Bernie Rachelle, Jay Sanders, Raynor Scheine, David Thornton, Gordon Joseph Weiss

In the year 2044 humans are genetically mutated to feel nothing but happiness. Constant happiness, with no negative emotions to balance off of, becomes a burden, causing people to become completely numb. In this strange, not-so-perfect, utopian world, Jack deals expired drugs with side effects that allow his customers to feel pain. When a man shows up to give Jack a tape of his father, he begins an investigation into the conspiracy that started it all.

One of my all-time favorite book series begins with the line, “The author is a liar.” (“Wit’ch Fire” of The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens.) So when this movie started with some similar warnings as well as a claim of having been created by “Anonymous,” I became instantly intrigued. When I took that into account with the strange and somewhat untouched storyline, my expectations rose.

I was right that the story would be incredible. I found the majority of the movie to be unexpected and very in depth. Yes, the story had some issues. One of the most glaring of them was that, as far as I know, genetics can’t change the entire world in only thirty years. I’m not a scientist, so I might be wrong. None-the-less, I couldn’t wrap my mind around that. If it’d been 3044 instead, it wouldn’t have been an issue. There were several other problems as well, but I can easily suspend disbelief in most of those cases.

Even with that one story-line issue, the plot really was very good – it was the portrayal itself that I had issues with. At some points it felt like the director had so little faith in the intelligence of the audience that I was actually offended.

When I started writing (fiction, not blogs), my uncle gave me this advice: “You can show people or you can tell them. Nobody is going to want to be told everything, it gets boring. That’s why kids fall asleep in school. You have to show.” I believe this applies to movies as well. Sure, sometimes a little narration is necessary because no one wants to sit and watch a six hour movie. Plenty of movies begin with that touch of voice-over work or some scrolling words to depict the past. However, in “Zenith,” the voice-over doesn’t end. I spent the entire movie being told things that I think the movie should have shown me. Other times, the narration told me stuff I’d already been shown and gave off an air of redundancy.

Though I had only one problem with the movie itself, it’s a really big problem in my eyes. If the story hadn’t been so engrossing, it would have been a complete deal-breaker for me.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.5/5
Overall Opinion – 3/5

The Random Rating: R – for prolonged nudity, mild sex scenes and drug use

Movie Trailer: 

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