02nd Mar2021

‘Volition’ VOD Review (Showtime)

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Adrian Glynn McMorran, Magda Apanowicz, John Cassini, Aleks Paunovic, Frank Cassini, Bill Marchant | Written by Tony Dean Smith, Ryan W. Smith | Directed by Tony Dean Smith

Less all-out horror and more a sci-fi thriller, Volition tells the story of James, who sees his mother die in a car crash in a vision two days before it actually happens. Unable to stop it because no-one will believe him, twenty-odd years later he has come out of the foster care system struggling with life because he knows everything is predestined. He then sees his own death and follows a path that he hopes will stop it.

Volition manages to have an interesting, captivating and detailed story that could easily get really confusing but because of how well the film is edited and made, is surprisingly easy to follow. We head back and forth in time, always leading back to present day and what is happening in James’ world. It’s hard to speak about Volition too much without going into spoiler territory and I don’t want to do that. It’s definitely a film you want to watch knowing as little as possible. James meets a woman – Angela (Magda Apanowicz – Green Inferno), who soon becomes a big part of his life and someone he wants to change his predestined future for. Mixed-up with petty criminals, he’s not in the best shape to save his or anyone else’s life.

Volition gives off plenty of Memento-vibes. Like that movie before it, it has you continuously guessing where everything is heading while never throwing in a twist just for the sake of it. As you keep watching, each step seems logical and will keep you glued to your seat. I loved trying to work out what might happen next and then going back over things in my head. This is a movie you will want to and possibly need to, watch on more than one occasion.

Adrian Glynn McMorran as James puts in a strong performance. His character goes through a lot and McMorran makes you feel it all alongside him. The other most notable performer was Aleks Paunovic, who I’m sure plays a similar character (big bruiser guy that likes to beat people up) in many films – but he’s good at it so why not?

Director and co-writer Tony Dean Smith has few movies and shorts to his name, so it’s no surprise that this looks very good for what is, I assume, a low budget. There’s a really cool use of slow motion in a couple of scenes. Something that can come across gimmicky but really adds something to the scenes it is used in. One small complaint is I nearly always hate the use of CGI blood, and when used in Volition, it doesn’t look great.

Despite some familiar themes, Volition is a fantastic and original idea that is extremely well made for the screen. At times thought-provoking – would you lead your life differently if you knew it was all predetermined? – while managing to stay highly entertaining throughout.

**** 4/5

Volition streams on Showtime (in the US) from tomorrow, March 3rd 2021.

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