Saturday, June 19, 2010
Vincenzo Natali has been on my backlog of directors to check out their works for some time, having seen Cube years ago and enjoying it to a great degree, I always meant to check out more of his work. Now with Splice having been in theaters for quite a while and me just refusing to go out to the theaters for the time being, I've gotten around to watching his other films, so expect a review of Nothing to be forthcoming in the next couple of days.
Cypher is a very interesting film in that it seems to wear its genre heart on its sleeve and at the same time wants to be unconventional. It is possibly the best spy film of the sci-fi genre that I can think of off the top of my head and there's a reason for that. Most spy films can become confusing enough with their narrative without having to throw into the mix the headache that can be technobabble. Natali wisely sidesteps this by having the tech gear be a natural extension of the story. Natali's direction lends the world a futuristic and familiar feel, although the nauseating fish eye lenses and the like tend to wear out their welcome pretty quick.
I'm also still not sure if I'm sold on the film's big reveal in the final act, but if nothing else, it does fit well within the context of the film, if not within my taste glands. The acting is great across the board, Jeremy Northam making me wonder where the hell he went and where the hell he's gone as he's got great charisma and great presence and Lucy Liu making me wish she'd show up in smaller films like this more often, adding this to her fun turns in Payback and being one of my favorite guests on Futurama. It's not going to knock Blade Runner off anyone's top 10 sci-fi films, but it's well worth checking out.