Friday, February 24, 2017

Movie review: The Call Up

A group of online gamers are selected to try a new game utilizing cutting edge simulation technology. With the $100,000 prize on their minds, the group soon discover there may be more reality in this virtual reality game than they expected.

Chris Obi (Sergeant), Morfydd Clark (Shelly), Parker Sawyers (Andre), Max Deacon (Carl), Tom Knight (Marco), Adriana Randall (Taylor), Boris Ler (Zahid), Ali Cook (Edward), Douggie McMeekin (Adam).

When a group of elite gamers are selected to try a new state-of-the-art virtual reality game for a $100K prize they jump at the chance. Gearing up with the latest technology and learning the ropes, the group both comes together and the gamers begin to compete. Now immersed in virtual reality, the gamers discover the game is capable of causing actual harm and has consequences more severe than they imagined.

Acting was interesting if nothing else. Obi literally felt like a computer creation, fitting his role well as a result. Clark and Sawyers both delivered well but felt slightly out of place. Knight was appropriately a jerk, which he pulled off nicely while did a decent job with his subversive role.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were enjoyable and fit the film very well. Action scenes and CGI were good with a solid fit and feel. Dialogue was rough with inconsistent movement and questionable reality paired with poor delivery. Sound and soundtrack were mediocre.

While die-hard virtual reality gamers may enjoy this one and the idea of gaming at the next level, the blend with sci-fi is not supported well by the acting or direction in The Call Up. The film feels disjointed, lethargic, and obviously lacks character charisma or audience engagement. Some sci-fi gamer fans may enjoy this one.

With some bloody violence and profanity, this should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 2016
Reviewed: 2.11.17
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Action & Adventure, Action Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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