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  1. Published on: 11/03/2018 02:52 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A mute bartender must battle through Berlin's gangsters to find what happened to his missing partner.

    Since his directorial debut in 2009, Duncan Jones has given us some of the most influential films within the sci-fi genre with a couple of mind-bending stories.

    It started with the brilliant British indie 'Moon' which broke new ground for sci-fi films in many aspects.

    Then came the complex and thrilling Source Code which saw him come into the mainstream world.

    2016 then saw Jones direct a big love of his, and that is the world of Warcraft. I really enjoyed it and I hope a sequel is eventually made. But sadly, the undeserved lower than expected box office might prevent from happening.

    Now we have another sci-fi feature. However, it is Netflix that Jones is going for in regards to its release. This route of film releasing is slowly becoming more common. In some ways, it's a positive more. But for many others, it isn't.

    However, now that I have seen the film, I think I think of one reason as to why we won't be seeing this in cinemas.

    It started off pretty well with some striking visuals that is very similar to Blade Runner or even the Rouge City segments from A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The set-up and introduction to the characters and story was promising and I felt we were gearing up for an impactful neo-noir. There are even some nice easter eggs in here for fans of Jones' previous works to look out for.

    Sadly, the second half is all over the place. It's biggest problem was that the character motivations suddenly change at 180 degrees flip. There were also scenes that felt more like deleted scenes as the flow into the next segment just did not make any sense.

    You can still see the potential as it deals in some really dark issues. But they were never fully resolved or explored.

    With it being a sci-fi with a fair amount of grandeur, its biggest strengths are most certainly is visuals. Added with the strong cinematography, I was fascinated by the look of this world and there were many shots that felt reminiscent of the many vintage noir's of the 1940's.

    Another strong suit that I loved was the imagination in the technology. It was fantastic to watch and there were so many that I have never seen before that I could realistically see being used in our actual future. With it being a sci-fi with a fair amount of practically, you expect some lavish costume design. It certainly has that. There was a surprising amount of vintage and current costumes in here as well, which still managed to seam well with the environment.

    But despite it being a strong film from a technical standpoint, the story really lets itself down. It's a real shame as someone of Duncan Jones' stature, you do expect something special and some deep story-telling. But in the end, it was just a hot mess. It had the potential there and I really wanted to get on board with this. But it's extremely messy second half just made it a frustrating watch by the end of it.

    Despite not likely giving this a second watch, I will remember it for its concept and look, and I will still keep an eye out for any of Jones' future projects. He still remains to be a top director with many ambitious ideas. Whether they work or not, I will still watch anything he makes.

    I feel so bad for Jones, as this was such a personal project. So much so that he dedicated the film to his parents.

    Rating: 6/10
     

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