08th Feb2021

‘Agent Revelation’ Review

by Chris Thomas

Stars: Derek Ting, Michael Dorn, Kayla Ewell, Carole Weyers, Eve Mauro, Chris Reid, Terrance Christopher Jones, Marikah Cunningham, Matthew Ryan Burnett, Ted Briones, Maxine Bahns, Eric Mark, Cory Tucker | Written and Directed by Derek Ting

Have you ever wondered what happened to Michael Dorn after Star Trek? Me too! He’s in Agent Revelation

Agent Revelation kicks off with some brilliant B-movie direction, approaching a house in the desert (and some sheep). Before we know what is happening, two middle aged men are chasing each other, while our B movie director does his best to make it look dynamic and exciting (he fails). Before we know what is happening. One of them is CGI effect, vomiting some blood onto the other one and some special forces types are then running him down.

We are in the future, with some sci-fi effects and some ripe acting. I do not want to say that our sinister baddy is wooden, but if he had hair, there would a woodpecker living in there. The army types take the baddie back to their high tech, warehouse base, and it is clearly a question of “when” and not “if” the baddie is going to escape and run amuck. Some of the acting is bordering on the hilarious. A doctor telling his patient that he is sterile (to no noticeable reaction) before going on “Well. I am AM one of the top doctors in the country, so I can run a few more tests…” Hang on, I am a busy doctor, I will stride off abruptly, to the other side of this curtain. Sometimes there is just such a disconnect between script-writers hammering away at their typewriters and how actual human beings interact with one another, it is so interesting.

Our patient is a bloke called Jim and there is something called “Ash” that apparently gives people “abilities” [which happened in the first movie, Agent. Yes, this is a sequel apparently; though I doubt many have seen the original movie, which was also written and directed by star Derek Ting] Jim applied to the secret military base to be an analyst, but he has been immediately upgraded to field work, due to these “abilities”. Anyway, it turns that Jim is quite the bad ass, due to his powers. Basically, he has one of those illegal Call of Duty mods that means he is really, good at laser quest.

Whoever is doing the lighting here, has also been to the Philips Hue set lighting academy. What do you mean you want natural light? I have bright purple or bright green? Pick one. Or I can do both, at the same time. The film has gone absolutely bananas on the coloured lights.

Just when we think we are finished with the Laser Quest. We have another round of Laser Quest. I get the first time is to show how much of a bad ass Jim is, but in the second time we are throwing the orphan kid, who lost his parent to the ash, and the surprisingly beautiful IT ladies against something called “the juggernaut”. The film is trying so hard to make the Laser Quest seem exciting, but it is all very strange, and a little amusing. One moment the scientists are talking about defeating the evil ash, the next they are talking about curing cancer. It is all confusing. After more nonsense, being told there is different colours of energy. We are back to round three of Laser Quest. Be still my beating heart.

“There is a lot of things here at the base, that will defy a lot of logic that the rest of the world knows”. Is one of the finest lines from a film. They get that in early. It is right there with the Peep Show line “Great fish pie, Mark.” “Thanks Sophie, I try my best, and that is all anyone can expect” (just subtly lowering her expectations in the bedroom there).

Back to Agent Revelation. Michael Dorn is in the “B-movie Morgan Freeman” role of the honey voiced big name star, who is not in it as much as you would like. It turns out that Michael Dorn’s character is a billionaire type, who has set up a military, science base to stop this “Ash” thing we found out about earlier. Lots of attractive people, in lab coats spouting nonsense science stuff makes up a fair amount of the dialog. It is L Ron Hubbard levels of silliness in the plot. They are trying to find a way to defeat this nefarious “Ash” that can somehow control people. I did like that our ash possessed baddie is wearing a vest under his t-shirt. He is evil, but he does not want to catch a cold. That is just sensible.

As we get past the Laser Quest excitement, we are treated to Jim training Return of the Jedi style with Michael Dorn (Worf from Star Trek, do not pretend you did not know that) acting in the part of Yoda. They are doing tai chi to learn to unleash the awesome power of the human soul. Cue a training montage.

We also find out that the one tiny flaw in the base security settings is one of the only options in the menu is to set it to “genocide mode” which apparently “kills all humans”. Why the developers put this in the program, I am not entirely sure. But it is B-movie brilliance and indicative of the “normal logic of the world not applying on this base”. They covered themselves there (just not in glory). We also get a scene of a young Jim trying to woo a girl from his maths class. The girl is going to train to be a doctor, we are confidently assured that “Doctors don’t make a lot of money”. I assure you; they do. It’s just a good example of how “logic doesn’t apply in this film”.

Spoilers lurk below.

Luckily, our team of random base employees (and the orphan kid) get to test their mad skills at Laser Quest when the base is invaded, by some off brand Sith and there are some inexplicable and hilarious betrayals.

Do you remember the wild coloured, surreal Natalie Portman sci-fi horror film, Annihilation? Well, Agent Revelation is, in some respects similar. It is just not particularly good. I applaud the fact our protagonist is from Hong Kong, it is just the film is not remarkably interesting, and poorly directed. If it weren’t so dull between the accidentally amusing scenes, this would be easy to recommend, but probably not in the way the film maker intended.

If it were Worf fighting these low rent sci-fi baddies Agent Revelation would be an instant classic.

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