Volition review: Prepare to get your mind scrambled in intriguing, multi-layered sci-fi Volition.
James (Adrian Glynn McMorran) is a young man with clairvoyant abilities. He makes his living making petty bets and occasionally helping out the local crime contingent. After being drafted in to help on a new job, James accidentally stumbles across the sequence of events that will lead to his death. James, with help from new friend Angela (Magda Apanowicz), must try to piece together the riddle of his life as he tries to alter his future.
‘They say when you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes. If only it were that simple.’ These are the opening words to Volition, words that themselves reflect the film as it isn’t as simple as it first sounds. Much like Looper and Twelve Monkeys, this is a film that has more to it than meets the eye. The premise that we’ve set out may to some degree sound a little like Nic Cage’s Next, but trust me, there’s a hidden depth to be enjoyed with Volition.
The story is the key to Volition‘s success. Sibling duo Tony Dean Smith (who also directs) and Ryan W. Smith have clearly spent a lot of time and effort trying to achieve the perfect balance of several elements. All of their hard work pays off, and it’s a very special moment once the penny drops as to what is really going on. One that demonstrates the duo’s writing talents, and great promise for future projects.
Visually, Volition has echoes of early David Fincher; think Seven meets The Game, as well as Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys. The style adds a layer of gritty realism to the film, helping to make it a grounded science-fiction story such as Looper and The Terminator. The score is suitably moody and compliments what is unfolding on screen beautifully.
At the centre of the film, as with (in my opinion) all good science-fiction, is a burgeoning love story. James is immediately drawn to Angela and the two hit it off instantly. It’s compelling viewing watching their relationship develop as it tries to overcome some insurmountable obstacles. The chemistry between McMorran and Apanowicz sizzles, making the pair seem all the more tangible as real people. All this combines to have the viewer willing them to overcome the difficulties laid out for them.
A science-fiction film that has a lot to offer, Volition definitely encourages repeat viewings to fully appreciate all the intricacies and secrets buried within.
Volition was reviewed at Arrow Video Frightfest 2019.