Cypher

I think its pretty impressive that Cypher got made. Listening to some of the dvd commentary it seems like the people that made it felt a little like that too, they sound very much like they were surprised to be there at all. This might be because its a bit of a weird one. It feels like an awesome idea for a short film that has been elongated far beyond the bounds of what is right or sane until it fits into something like a traditional film time scale. The issue is that it is a one concept movie, in itself not unusual, recent Tom Cruise sci-fi vehicles have almost got away with being only half a concept and have still been watchable, but this concept suffers from the issue of being … well … rather boring. No. I take that back, the concept is not boring, it is actually quite cool, the time spent dwelling on some of the less interesting aspects of that concept resolutely are boring. The film makers had to find something to fill in all the space between the fun stuff I suppose, and they didn’t want to just write more fun stuff. Because of the way it all goes down (with this concept I wont tell you because it will ruin the movie for you) there are some good fun set pieces which are stuck together with things that are exceptionally important to the plot, but that are kind of not very interesting to watch. That the protagonist is a bit lame, and seems vaguely out of it most of the time is an equally important plot point, but who wants to watch a vaguely out of it lame protagonist? Imagine James Bond, but he is called Barry Smith, a lager drinking, fruit machine playing oaf who can only get it from prostitutes. Put him in exactly the same scenarios as Daniel Craig, and the whole thing still sounds kind of crappy. Cypher is not an awful film, it is just about someone you don’t care about because he isn’t very interesting or likable until very late in the movie. He isn’t very interesting or likable because the film wouldn’t work if he was. It just cant decide if it is about the very subtle, emotional shifts in its main characters world view, or if its about awesome underground bases, either would be fine (underground bases preferable) but you simply cannot have both.

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