Starring: Jacqueline Kim, Samantha Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle
Directed By: Jennifer Phang
Written By: Jacqueline Kim, Jennifer Phang
Rating: NR (US) Running Time: 1 hr 31 min
In a futuristic somewhat cynical youth obsessed world, a forty-something woman undergoes an experimental procedure to ensure her daughters future.
The premise for this piece is an intriguing one, and one that should have packed a hefty emotional punch. That being the transfer of a person’s consciousness into a younger body, and how that is received by the people close to the transferee. The problem I had with Advantageous however, was with the delivery of said punch, because it felt more like a nudge.
This is a film that favors visual flair, over basic story telling. It drops the audience off in a futuristic world, but doesn’t give them much to relate to. Opting instead to navigate through its tale of love, family and sacrifice with slick visuals, and stilted overly poetic dialog. It seems writer/director Jennifer Phang didn’t feel the “where’s” and “why’s” of this science fiction tale were worth explaining, and that lack of detail extends to the film’s supporting characters too. Dropped into this production as two dimensional obstacles or naysayers, with little to no back story, or motivation in this story.
Jacqueline Kim’s performance as the struggling mother looking out for her daughter’s future, is strong. But is mired by Jennifer Phang’s flash over substance approach to the production of this film. Which in the final analysis, guts the emotional impact of this story. Resulting in something that’s pretty to look at, but ultimately vapid.
This is a slow-moving science fiction piece, that explores an intriguing premise, with a tasteful amount of CGI to help develop its futuristic setting. The movie is not rated, but my guess would be PG.
According to the Wikipedia page for Advantageous, the film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, and later released exclusively to Netflix. A HD screening on a nice big television is recommended.
Richard Wong’s cinematography. This is a beautifully shot film.