I love the concept of this film but its major problem is that it never truly defines the parameters of the world(s) it creates, which is something that every film like this needs to do. She is digitized, but then it's implied that her digital 'copy' and the real world are separate entities.
We jump forward 20 years to her in her car. Is this her digital 'copy'? If so, have all of the other animated characters (mostly the insignificant ones) been scanned as well? This part takes a jump to it being all about chemistry. Why did they need to have the 'congress' in the animated world in either case? If in the future it changes to a chemical catalyst, how are they interacting with the digital copies they were implied to be?
I really wanted to like this movie, the trailer made it sound like such an interesting concept. Kind of like mix between Inception, Roger Rabbit, Transcendence, and Cool World... but ended up being just disjointed and uninteresting. I kept waiting, baiting my breath, thinking that the next scene would bring everything together and things would start to make sense, but they never do. It just became odder and more strange as the film continued, pushing it further away from any baseline it may have set.
Perhaps I'm too dense to appreciate this film but I always believed that a storyteller has to set parameters for the world they create. We can watch films like Roger Rabbit because they set the limits for the world the characters interact with. We allow for Space Sci-fi because they let us know the limits. We love superhero movies as long as they adhere to the limits of the universe the characters live in. If the characters don't, we can't relate on any level and lose interest and become confused.
That's where this film lost me. Where did the real world end and where did the animated world begin? And if it's all a hallucination... what's the point in the end? I couldn't find any moral center or real motivation to her character aside from wanting to see her son again... which in the end just seems obtusely selfish. Oh well.
Edit: I see a lot of people describing this film as different things. Some say she died and the animated world was her afterlife or re-incarnation or whatever. Some are saying the 'congress' and the 'rebellion' were like the Matrix or some alternate world. All of these individual descriptions of what is actually going on just re-enforce my point that if you don't at the very least define the parameters of your world there is really no point to telling the story... this is especially true in sci-fi.
Toward the end of the film we see her cross over into the dystopian 'real' world via (presumably) chemical process. OK, did she have a body waiting to receive her consciousness? Was it the same body she crossed over with in the desert? What the hell was the 'congress' about anyway? Why would everyone want to be Robin Wright in the first place (I mean she is beautiful, but come on!)? We see that her 'scanned' self has obviously made some movies, but in the end, the whole scanning dilemma at the beginning of the film amounts to nothing!
The other guy who just happens to look like Tom Cruise says they're the only ones who survived... why is that even important??? Why should we care??? People are obviously crossing over all the time using the chemical process! I mean they have an checkpoint system set up in the desert just for crossing over and coming back apparently!!! Her son crossed over willy-nilly. Her boss crossed over. Her 'animator' who fell in love with her crossed over! If crossing over is a euphemism for dying... how is she able to talk to her daughter from the other side... much less 'cross over' not once but twice after the 20 year jump.
Again... what the hell is going on in this movie???
"I like French films. Pretentious, boring French films. I like French films. Two tickets ce beau ple." -Jay Sherman.
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