Written & Directed by Jason Howden
Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Ned Dennehy, Grant Bower, Edwin Wright, Rhys Darby.
Miles (Radcliffe) lives a fairly ordinary life as a computer programmer, in a post modern and alternate to ‘real life’ city.
He enjoys ‘trolling’ people on internet comments sections. One night he logs onto the insanely popular site for the cities underground ‘fight club’ called Skizm, (where people have to kill each other) – and begins trolling the people who cheer the community. However after a particularly nasty exchange with one member, he discovers it was Skizm leader Rektor (Dennehy) he was attacking. In retaliation Rektor drugs Miles and screws guns into his hands, and has him as the next target for Skizm champion Nix (Weaving), and kidnaps his former girlfriend Nova (Bordizzo).
Fun enough, and original – it is very dark and very violent – and once again Radcliffe shows his career has chops as he enters his adulthood (he IS 33 now!). Here he uses an American accent, and he’s continually showing us he has shed his Harry Potter image. Kudos!
The real problem here is the script, and the characters within it. We are introduced to a bright bustling modern city that our characters live in, who also are open to the horrifying Skizm existing.
Some characters are underused completely, and some of the double cross from those characters to one another feel rushed and convoluted, and there are moments that feel so overused cliché’s in character dynamics, you almost eye roll when you learn it.
Also at 98 minutes, it feels a tad overlong.
The directing style from the relatively new Howden is fast paced, and the action scenes are almost nonstop. There are some jarring moments where the camera does literal 360° rolls, which take your right into the action. The direction was quite good, and I will look forward to Mr Howden’s future work.
I quite enjoyed this film, and it worked. I do recommend it. Weaving was the standout star as Nix, with this and her other recent work in Ready or Not, she is establishing herself as quite a star.