ovies like "Absolon" really try my patience.
Like another Direct-to-Video victim about Corporate Conspiracy called "Power
Play", "Absolon" has it in its head that it's important --
or, at the very least, substantial. Of course the problem with this notion lies
in the screenplay, which has so little originality, so little concept of logic,
that one wonders how the screenwriter (in this case veteran Brad Mirman, whose
one decent movie was "Joshua")
ever got it into his head that he was capable of writing a movie with any
substance at all. Needless to say, "Absolon" is pure garbage. Worst,
it believes it's not.
It's the near future, and a mysterious and incurable virus
has attacked mankind. The result: 5 billion dead, and mankind has to use a drug
called "absolon" to keep the virus at bay. Despite what would seem
like a cataclysmic event, the world continues with minor variations to daily
life, such as an omnipresent computer voice, people are paid in
"hours" instead of "dollars", and really really
advance virtual reality technology exist. (Well, the VR shows up for about 3
minutes of screentime, since most of the budget probably went to hiring
Christopher Lambert ("Fortress")
plays our hero, Norman Scot, a cop assigned to investigate the murder of a
doctor believed to have found a cure for the virus. As soon as the doctor
mentions in his video diary about the "arrogance of mankind" and the
magic word ("rain forest") we know we're in for a movie with delusions
of substance. This delusion continues throughout the movie, and Mirman throws
one buzzword after another at us just in case we didn't "get" that
he's trying to do something important here. In fact "Absolon" could
very well be "Power
Play", but with a better cast of B-actors and a couple of more bucks
(although not too much more) to throw at the screen to give it that
Without belaboring the point too much, "Absolon"
tries too hard to look "futuristic", but it's all for naught because
the movie is by-the-numbers low-budget moviemaking, from the uneven acting to
the cliché screenplay to the repetitive direction. You can count on an action
scene popping up every 10 minutes or so just to keep the audience from dozing
off. Even if screenwriter Mirman wanted to turn his movie into "The
Insider", with nonstop chatter about conspiracies and blah blah blah, the
producers would still force him to include one action scene every 10 minutes or
so. Gun battles are cheap to stage and most important of all, loud.
Remember that these films are basically moneymaking
schemes. The point is to make money; making a good movie is an afterthought. To
achieve this end, producers hedge their bets by throwing in known names like
Lambert, Ron Perlman as the head honcho of The Conspiracy, and Lou Diamond
Phillips as The Conspiracy's Black-Suited Gunman (who wears dark glasses, of
course). This isn't brain surgery. Mirman's script might have been something
interesting when the filmmaking process began, but it's become nothing more than
a means to some quick cash.
If you've noticed, I haven't bothered to talk about The
Conspiracy. That's because it's readily obvious who is part of The Conspiracy.
This time around we get Evil Corporations in cahoots with the Evil Government.
It's all very Evil because, just like "Absolon" itself, the final
reward is money. How interesting. Did I just discover another Conspiracy? Hmmm.
I don't know, but making a piece of garbage like "Absolon" just to
make money does seem very EEE-vil to me.
On the plus side, I'm glad Lambert is still working, even
though it's now impossible to hear his raspy voice. (Although it might not seem
like it, I am a fan of the actor, and wishes he would just pick some better
projects.) Also, Lou Diamond Phillips seems to be settling into the Cheesy
Villain roles. He was just as cheesy in "A
Better Way to Die" and even cheesier in "Stark
Raving Mad". If he keeps this up, people won't remember him as
"that La Bamba guy" but rather as "that guy who always plays
cheesy villains in all those B-movies". If I were him I'd turn down some of
Ron Perlman ("Blade
2") is also in the movie. Ah, Ron Perlman. I can only imagine that Ron
owed someone a big favor. Either that, or someone has a picture of poor Ron in a
To sum up "Absolon": Chris discovers The
Conspiracy. Chris runs. Gunfire. Duck, Chris! Ron chastises Lou in a Dark Smoky
Room. More talk of The Conspiracy. Chris runs some more. Gunfire! Duck, Chris!
Ron chastises Lou in a Dark Smoky Room. Repeat until the 90 minutes is up. Good
night, folks. Everybody please proceed to the front line to collect your