Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Prototype (2009)

I'll start by noting that the square brackets around this film's name do not appear in the actual on-screen titles.  I suspect they were added as an attempt to cash in on the successful video game released the same year:

Nah, I'm sure it is totally just a coincidence.

Given that video game films have not historically set the box office alight, they must have been really hard up for a marketing plan.  To be clear: there's no connection between the movie and the game.

In any case, this film is about a young man named Alex, whose life is not not going terribly well.  He has a dead end job with a boss who victimises him, and who might be sleeping with his girlfriend.  Said girlfriend constantly mooches money off him.  His mother is dead.  His step-father slaps him around.  Pretty much the only comforts in his life are religion - he's an avid church-goer, and believes that God has a purpose for him, if only he can find it - and the one friend who doesn't use him.

Said friend is a bit of a genius, it turns out, because he invents a pair of gloves that allow the wearer to employ telekinetic powers of immense force.  He shows these to Alex, but is reluctant to let the young man use them when his first attempt is unintentionally destructive.

As Alex's life continues to get worse, he becomes convinced that the gloves will allow him to right the wrongs that he feels are being done to him.

Now, to be honest, the people in Alex's life are pretty horrible.  But murdering them is probably not a valid response, and that's pretty much Alex's only game plan.

Now while this has all been going on, there's been a subplot about the local sheriff.  He's divorced (as a result of his own adultery) and his ex-wife is about to remarry.  Initially, he reacts to this news by harassing her new fiance, but when his ex confronts him about this he comes to the realisation that he is misusing his power.

And for like five minutes, I actually thought "Hey, this is quite cool - the movie's juxtaposed these two guys stories quite effectively.  Alex isn't the protagonist.  Sheriff guy is."  Because even after 500 reviews on this blog, hope springs eternal.

Alas, the movie doesn't pull the trigger on this parallel.  In fact, it doesn't really pull the trigger at all.  Instead, having set up a situation where both Alex and the Sheriff have one of the telekinesis gloves, which you might think would lead to a big TK vs TK battle ... it stops.  Roll credits, all done.  Were they hoping for a sequel?  Did they run out of money?  I don't know.  And honestly, at the end of the day, I don't care very much, either.

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