Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on March 21, 2011

Zenith is a relatively high production value movie released for free online. The first of the three parts came out recently. As a fan of free online things, I decided to check it out, a decision which I pretty much immediately regretted.

It’s set in a dystopian future where everyone has been genetically engineered to be permanently happy, but constant happiness apparently just leaves you feeling numb. Also, for some reason, most people have forgotten a lot of words, but the drug dealer protagonist and his hooker friend know them. There is also a conspiracy theorist priest involved. The bulk of the first part consists of expositional dialogue. It seems like they whole thing could’ve been livened up quite a bit with just a few of those regular screenwriting tricks, like having something else going on while the infodump dialogue happens, or have several characters stand around and split the information up between them to make it feel like we’re seeing a natural conversation instead of listening to a lecture. I would have loved a simple scene where a drug deal takes place, and the customer is broke and he’s like “come on just this one time, I need to feel something, I’m sick of being numb all the time,” instead of the protagonist explaining his profession and the numbness thing through voice over.

Of course, maybe they wanted it to be boring on purpose, so the audience could feel the same ennui as the characters. Which would be clever in a certain sense, but very stupid in a larger and more important sense.

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