June 14, 2017

Movie Review: The Answer

I watch a lot of movies of varying levels of quality and from a variety of genres. This is not to say I know any more about judging a film than you do. All I am trying to say is that I often come across films of unfulfilled potential. Movies that while not actually good, show some potential in their execution or in the story or in some way that indicates a filmmaker to keep an eye on. With The Answer you may have one of those filmmakers. The movie is quite unpolished and the story is not fully realized, but there is something about it that would indicate there is more there than a throwaway B-movie. Or I could be grasping at straws and this is the best it will ever be.

The Answer is the debut feature film for writer/director Iqbal Ahmed. The film is a mash of genres, bringing action, adventure, science fiction, and romance together under one title. Sure, he is far from the first guy to play mix and match with genre, but he does it on a budget. It is easy to see that they did not have a lot of money to make the film with and Ahmed the writer has crafted a story that has a pretty large scope, but written it in a way that keeps it small and populated characters that are relatable. Ahmed the director has taken the screenplay and kept t within itself, keeping the story going but avoiding the trend of overfilling it with CG fueled action.

The story concerns Bridd Cole (Austin Hebert), an everyman who keeps his profile low by working in the mail from of a financial/stock trading firm. This begs the question, why the low profile? What is it about him that begs to remain hidden? Well, it turns out he has a photographic memory and an ability to comprehend complex equations in an instant, as well as move pretty fast, fast enough to avoid a gunshot. He feels this could draw some unwanted attention.

One day he is confronted with the attractive free spirit of Charlotte (Alexis Carra), the new woman at the office. The introverted Bridd manages to get a date with her, to his delight. That same day he gets a mysterious package in the mail from his long dead mother. It is an electronic device the Bridd and Charlotte discovers a clue to his past and his mother’s fate. Upon returning home from their date, their boss is found murdered in his house and a few nasty fellows in motorcycle helmets and odd knives trying to kill them.

The rest of the film follows the couple as they race against the helmeted pursuers to follow a trail of clues to uncover the secret behind Bridd’s abilities and exactly what happened to his parents. It is not a bad story, although at times it feels like it takes some shortcuts rather than let us get a deeper understanding of what is going on. Story shortcomings notwithstanding, I was carried through by the general likability of the lead couple and enjoyed watching how the tale unfolded within its budget.

The Answer may not be completely satisfying or even offer up all the answers you may want, but it is still an interesting journey to partake in. It may never wind up as anything more than a footnote on anyone’s viewing history, but it is still worthwhile.

Available on VOD 7/11/17

Mildly Recommended.

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