Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Gemini Division (2008)

Anna Diaz is an undercover cop who unexpectedly falls in love.  When her fiancee is killed, she discovers that he was actually an artificial life form: a "simulant" or "sim", manufactured to serve in the US military and reduce human casualties.  Some three hundred of these sims have escaped and assimilated into society, where it is believed they are plotting terrorist attacks.  A secret organisation - Gemini Division - has been created to stop them, and Anna soon finds herself as their newest recruit.  But could the man she loved truly have been the human-hating monster they claim?

Some pretty cool things have been done in web video.  Stuff like Carmilla or The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for instance, have shown that very engaging stories can be told with limited resources, if you know what you're doing.  Or there is Sanctuary, which evolved from eight "webisodes" to have a four season run on SyFy.

Like the shows mentioned above, Gemini Division began life as a web series.  It consisted of fifty episodes, each of 5-7 minutes, but for this DVD release has been cut down to a 90 minute film, or about one-third of the original run time.

I never saw the original web show, so I can't comment on whether it was any better than the turgid mess of a film I just endured, but I can say that I have no desire to find out.  The complete lack of story-telling skill shown here, the failure even to pick a format and stick with it ... is this a vlog-style presentation like the first two shows I mentioned above, or a traditional TV style program like Sanctuary?  The creators never bothered to decide, it seems.  Quite how they got Rosario Dawson to take part in this unmitigated mess is a good question, but I wouldn't be surprised if they blew a big chunk of their budget on doing it.  Certainly they didn't have much left over for their FX work, which is embarrassingly bad, or for extras in scenes that desperately needed them.  For instance, there's a sequence here where Anna is in what must be the world's saddest nightclub, as it apparently has all of four customers, including her.

Dreadful stuff.  "I have seen Cyborg 2 and it is twenty times better and fifty times more entertaining than this" dreadful.

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