Thursday, November 15, 2018

Black Road (2016)

Number Rolled: 68
Movie Name/Year: Black Road (2016)
Tagline: Don't ride into the darkness alone.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Length: 80 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Joma Films
Producer: Ginny Auer, Henry Bataille, Karen Carnival, Laurel Dryland, Mike DuBose, Jack Gibbs, Jennifer Gibbs, Dana Greaves, Troy Hemmerling, Kathleen Heritage, Marcus Heritage, Jim Jones, Gary Kout, Catherine Lassesen, Anne Lundgren, Robert MacLellan, Norman Malmberg, Jack Montague, Luis Rodriguez, Christine Sheaks, Amy Van Nostrand, Geoff Whitman, Todd Wilson
Director: Gary Lundgren
Writer: Gary Lundgren
Actors: Andrew Wilson, Leilani Sarelle, Sam Daly, Michelle Lombardo, Simon Templeman, Dan Donohue, Mike Estes, Douglas Rowe, Danforth Comins, Kenajuan Bentley, Kevin Kenerly, Bekah Grace, Jason R. Couch, Flannery Lundgren, Michael Hovermale

Blurb from Netflix: In a rustic, destitute Pacific Northwest free of government, a cybernetically enhanced drifter tries to protect a woman from her menacing husband.

Selina’s Point of View:
I did not like this.

A friend of mine is super into cyberpunk and it’s caused me to look a little harder at the genre, and I find that I enjoy a lot of the settings more than I thought I did. With my new perspective I was really looking forward to seeing an indie cyberpunk kind of film. Unfortunately, it just didn’t give me much that was worth it.

It felt like there were multiple stories being told and they didn’t really work together. It was a mashup of various tropes from other genres jammed into a vaguely cyberpunk setting. Some of the plots don’t even have closure by the end of the film. It’s like the writer started to tell a story then opted not to.

On top of that? NONE of the characters were even mildly likable. It was rough to side with anyone – even the main character – because they were just so agitating.

I was insanely bored throughout the majority of it.

Even for hardcore fans of the genre, I wouldn’t recommend this one.

Cat’s Point of View:
This wasn't your average dystopian future sci-fi flick. I definitely have to give it credit for that. It looks pretty shiny as an independent film. For the majority of the movie, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference from a higher budget production.

It didn't need flashy effects or A-listers to paint a clear picture of this version of the future.

Here's a bit of trivia for you -- the State of Jefferson is actually something that could potentially become a reality in the future; if the residents of Northern California and Southern Oregon have anything to say about it. There is an actual movement to make that happen. Of course, what the sources I've read so far have mentioned is essentially forming a new state within the US, rather than the full-scale secession that is mentioned in the movie's setting preamble.

Most of the tech shown throughout the film feels entirely plausible. We're really on the cusp of a lot of it already - such as the biometric thumbprint scanners for ID. I know I used to have a fingerprint lock enabled on one of my prior cell phones. (Until I realized how hard it would be for someone to get to my contact information in the event of a medical emergency - but that's a tale for another time.)

This film succeeded in creating a believable atmosphere and framework for the story. I was buying most of what they were selling. I could even see shades of cyberpunk here and there. For the most part, the performances were also on point. There was a little bit of over-the-top here and there, but nothing egregious. It certainly wasn't trying to sell a load of camp as something more. The movie was successful at being actually serious.

While I'm still left with a few questions about a few of the plot points in general; overall, I really appreciated the way that things played out.

I'm not sure if this movie would be everyone's cup of tea, but I know I wouldn't mind watching it again.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, French, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 24%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 3.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer:

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