Beta Test full movie review - A lot of fun:) Do it!
The actors & actresses aren't known names, but a few of them could be.
The script isn't the next Matrix, but the idea behind it is about as fun as it gets.
The action? Well? The action is the one thing that is hands down awesome. No corners get cut there. It's truly a worthy experience in the vein of some pretty classic 1990s action flicks (Blind Fury anyone? Come on? That's some premium B-Flick there!)
There's literally a lobby fight scene in Beta Test that actually holds the title for being the current "longest long take fight scene" on record. And yes? The camera work for it is fantastic (with quickly paced combat that is equally superb.)
One scene, all shot with a single camera? A lot of ass kicking? World record.
It was beautifully done. Indie film or not? That scene ruled like scenes from Equilibrium ruled.
The digital special effects won't be cutting edge in this experience, but they serve their purpose well enough to enjoy the idea at this film's core.
"Real life first person slave gaming."
Feel free to re-read that.
"Real life first person slave gaming."
Sounds like a Black Mirror episode right?
Well? It could be.
You've heard of human trafficking right?
Well? This film's concept takes being kidnapped to the next level. The technological device used in this story literally shelves a person's ability to control their own body, and then puts it into the control of a gamer. The victim will be fully awake after the chip is installed, but they won't be able to speak unless "their player" tells them to, they can't even turn their own head without a controller swipe to make it happen.
When a person is chipped they're effectively helpless. Just a remote controlled human being at the mercy of their player.
The player of course gets to control & watch everything the avatar does through a TV in the comforts of their own home. All of the fun? None of the risks or consequences for their avatar's actions though.
As we'll find out, the main character Creed is one of many people that becomes a part of an elaborate plot ultimately controlled by? (Drum roll) You guessed it, an evil CEO with an appetite for anarchy.
Simple, yet oh so effective for moving our plot along right?
I must say though? When the fight scenes are as good as they are in this film, I honestly stop caring about tiny details like a deep plot. I'm in it for the bone crunches and the one liners.
I don't question the rationality of the protagonist anymore? I just accept that they need to be put down like a dog and move on.
Beta Test delivers that kind of action flawlessly too.
You really don't expect it either. I felt a bit sucker punched by the awesomeness of Beta Test's delivery (thanks to my naturally cynical disposition toward low budget indie films of course.)
The film was quite good, and most notably? I didn't feel a need to shove glass through my eyes 5 minutes into it.
It was fun. It kept a solid pace in its timing, managed to come off extremely polished, and didn't hold back on the "odes" to all of the things that gamers love.
Whether it be real time action or CGI sequences showcasing the excitement, Beta Test certainly caters to gamer culture with a slew of welcomed detours.
It's very Doom in its delivery at times, but not annoyingly so, and it does well keeping a good balance between live action and digital animation as the film unfolds. They don't beat the first person camera view to death either, it serves its purpose, and the live action scenes then offer a great counter balance to the CGI.
As a gamer, I found Beta Test to be quite enjoyable on my first and even second viewing, there's a lot of hidden laughs and obvious cultural zings to enjoy alike.
Beyond the gamer culture though, I actually still find myself chuckling at Creed's cheesy one liners as I think back on the many moments he finds the time to make silly comments. (He deserves some kind of medal. I blew a drink out of my nose while watching the bank heist segment.)
The only thing that makes this film cooler than it already is, is when the soundtrack turns out with unexpected nuggets of awesomeness like it does.
Julien-K's approach to the Ost was a great companion for this entertaining ride, their style of production ranges from grinding industrial to smooth cloak and dagger ambiances throughout the experience, and their contributions are truly worthy of noting in this ocean of "indie awesomeness" that appears to be coming our way.
Idk.. I guess I'm a hug dork, because I love this film. I think others will too.