Tuesday, April 7, 2015
A mixed review of THE RECONSTRUCTION OF WILLIAM ZERO (2014)
The official plot description is as follows:
William Blakely, a cutting edge geneticist, wakes from a mysterious accident with fragmented memories and has to re-learn his identity from his twin brother. But when William digs deeper, he realizes the shocking truth: This is not his life at all.
I would add that the twin is a clone. Saying that isn't all that big a reveal I deduced it from the above synopsis even if it really isn't revealed until say 20 minutes in. Its what happens after the reveal that's important.(besides there area couple of ass kickers later in the film)
What happens in the film is a heady mix of intellectual pondering of the best sort mixed in with the occasional well worn science fiction trope. If you are well read in the genre there is no doubt that you've run across variations on this film's theme. What do you do if you find out you life is not your own? What if you are a copy of someone else? What is it like to be a scientific experiment? There is more going on than that but to discuss it might give too much away. The film handles most of the questions it raises deftly.
Beyond that I'm mixed on the film. While I like the film on an intellectual level I'm not sure that the film works emotionally. There is something about the way the film is told, and the way some characters are played that kept me from completely engaging with the plot through much of the first hour. There are times where, away from the ideas the film just sort of drifted about for me as if it wasn't full tethered. For whatever reason I'm not sure the plot works the way it should. As I said I felt adrift for much of the first hour after which it it snaps together in the last third with a couple of powerhouse scenes, The scenes, one a revelation of what is going on and another involving an emotional plea rocked me, but instead of making me love the film as a whole it made me realize what the film could have been.
I don't dislike the film, but I don't love it either- rather I'm left with the nagging feeling I should have loved this but didn't.
Is the film worth seeing? Yes it is. There is enough good stuff here that makes it worth seeing if not at 15 dollars a head in the theater then definitely on VOD.
The film hits theaters and VOD this Friday.