Toronto After Dark 2017: Defective – Reese Eveneshen

Screening tonight at Scotiabank Theatre as part of the Toronto After Dark film festival is this science fiction action flick that is sure to be a divisive viewing experience.

In the not so distant future, corporations are in control, and our phones and televisions will advise on everything that is acceptable, and remind us of the punishments for those things that are not.

When Rhett Murphy (Colin Paradine) witnesses something he shouldn’t have – a seemingly public execution carried out by cyborg beings known as Protectors of the Peace. From there he finds himself in the cross hairs of the cyborgs, killer drones, and the corporation that owns them.

His sister, Jean (Raven Cousens), gets drawn into events when she comes back into Rhett’s life, but things take a disastrous turn when she is captured by the Protectors.

Rhett is going after her.

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I’m a little divided on this one. There are some interesting ideas in this film, but I’m not completely sold on the way the Protectors are brought to life. They seem a little too clunky. You would think cyborgs would all be preprogrammed to move in a certain way, so that there would be a sense of uniformity amongst them – presenting a united threat against our would be hero. Instead they all seem to move in their own way, so instead of being an unstoppable onslaught of goose-stepping robotic figures they amble, shuffle or run according to individual needs – which seems to be opposed to the whole idea of the corporation and thought process behind them.

Some of the actin beats, consequently are a little shaky, but there is a solid idea at the core of the film, family, individuality, fighting against the corporatization of the world.

Running at a brisk hour and forty minutes the film moves along, and brings to life the world in which it exists in a fairly solid and believable way – it’s all the little things I dug, the phone alerts, the changing signs that opened the film, the drones…

It’s a world very recognisable, and perhaps only a day or two away from our present reality.

Not everything works so well within the film though, and there were things, and performances that ousted me from it, and made me struggle to get back into it.

As mentioned, however, there are some interesting ideas at play in the film, and it makes an intriguing addition to this year’s Toronto After Dark line-up.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out tonight!

What will you be watching After Dark?

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