07th Jul2017

‘The Answer’ VOD Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Austin Hebert, Alexis Carra, David S. Lee, Adam Shapiro, Mark Deklin | Written and Directed by Iqbal Ahmed

Answer-Key-Art

The Answer is a sci-fi, action, thriller, romance that is every bit as generic as its title. We are introduced to the mundane world of Bridd Cole (Austin Hebert), a quiet loner with a knack for underachieving, who uses his superpower to help a friend earn a promotion the friend is in no way qualified for. Across the office we have Charlotte (Alexis Carra), a wild haired, pretty face whose only superpower is her ability to wear a dress so tight it’s used as an Israeli interrogation devise.

If you’re a fan of The Bourne Identity but wished it had been made by the SyFy channel, you’re depressing wish has been granted. Upon watching this film, I was teased by poster art that featured at Snake-Eyes-ish badass, underneath space ships that are blasting a vibrant city. What I got was a slap fight inside an after-hours public library. A fairly cool premise is wasted by lack of vision and a poor script.

But maybe I’m not being fair. This movie does have a few strengths. The Answer knows its budget is razor thin and does its best to work within the confines. If this movie had tried to bring the fraudulent poster art to life, we would have witnessed Playstation 2 level CGI and shoddy green screen. This would have been a disaster. Instead, we got realistic (if uninspired) locations and modest computer effects that won’t impress, but won’t detract either.

The best thing The Answer has going for it are the two main cast members who really try to bring the wooden script to life. Bridd is a somber man who can’t help but trip over his own melancholy shadow, while Charlotte is vibrant and funny. And we desperately need Charlotte’s upbeat, can-do attitude to push us through the middle 40 minutes of the film, between the first fight scene and the last fight scene.

Did I mention this action movie only has two fight scenes?

And this is the films’ only real problem, but it is a huge problem, the script. The characters only act in ways to push the story forward. Why is Charlotte suddenly so physically attracted to Bridd to the point it borders on sexual assault? Why does Bridd suddenly hurl insults at Charlotte and ditch her in the middle of the night just because she called him “sensitive”? Why? Because the plot needed them to. That is just lazy writing.

Throughout almost the entire movie, Bridd is being hunted by three Daft Punk cosplayers who will stop at nothing to find him, except actually find him. Absent are the close calls with alien assassins and local police. Instead, a huge chuck of film is dedicated to sitting in a field while a dramatic score plays in the background. This movie wants to be more earnest than The Godfather but forgot it’s a sci-fi, action, thriller, romance.

However the acting is good, and the film does its best to work within its budget, but the lack of directorial vision and consistent characterization betrays even the most forgiving reviewer’s good will.

** 2/5

The Answer is released on VOD on July 11th, courtesy of High Octane Pictures.

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