There’s really no need for even the tiniest plot synopsis here, for there is so little plot here, and what there is such a bunch of vacuous crap, it might as well not exist at all.
Who’d have thought that having as a film’s only feature the gimmick of it
being shot exclusively in a First Person Shooter style POV vision created by
strapping a cheap digital camera to a stunt man’s head is not enough to make a
movie that’s actually interesting for more than the fifteen minutes or so it
takes to gawk at said gimmick? Even king of the gimmick William Castle added an
actual movie to his gimmicks! Unfortunately, director/”writer” Ilya Naishuller
is no William Castle (shit, he isn’t even Neveldine-Taylor), so all we get here
is a series of action set pieces that might have been interesting to look at if
they weren’t exclusively shot through a jittery camera that has little to do
with the far more stable view of one of the actual FPSs the movie pretends to be
inspired by, and even less with the way the actual human eye presents the world.
Unless, that is, everyone but me sees the world through a shaking fish eye that
is screwed onto their heads.
Not surprisingly, the novelty of seeing action scenes in this way decreases
quickly, leading first to annoyance at the awkward and un-cinematic manner the
film presents what might be rather great stunt work, then to
boredom caused by the visual sameness of it all, and then, worst of all, moments
when you can’t help but start thinking about the film’s plot. Or rather, how
stupid and irrelevant the plot is, and how its presentation is even worse than
in the video games it is badly attempting to copy. This thing makes the yearly
Call of Duty look like a narrative masterpiece, and Far Cry: Blood
Dragon like clever satire – let’s not even speak about those shooters that
actually have a few brain cells to rub together, or actual movies. Even Steven
Seagal movies have better writing.
To add insult to injury, this is also one of those films that pretend the
lazy, disinterested nonsense they call their writing is ironically bad, and
therefore good, quite ignoring the fact that not giving a shit isn’t made any
better by winking at the audience about one’s failure. Just watch Sharlto Copley
in the most annoying “funny” multi-character role this side of Peter Sellers and
still try to tell yourself that anything has ever been improved by being bad on