Starring: Adrian Glynn McMorran, Magda Apanowicz, John Cassini, Frank Cassini
Written by: Tony Dean Smith
Directed by: Tony Dean Smith, Ryan W. Smith
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Reviewed by: Dan Oles

High concept is a tightrope to walk. You can pitch a good fight by suggesting a film has a deep, original idea to play with usually revolving around a far flung fantasy or science fiction notion. But eventually you are going to have to face that niggling issue of whether or not a concept has appeal, interest, or a compelling enough emotional connection to make hours of film worth the time to experience.

Volition has several high concepts intermingled but it never quite captures an emotional core. For one thing it is incredibly similar to another film called The Butterfly Effect so even the appeal of the high concept feels more like repurposing old ground rather than brand new territory. In both films our damaged antihero discovers they can predict (and at times change) the future in the pursuit of a tragic love affair…which invariably worsens each time they use their unique gift.

This kind of fatalistic Sisyphean treadmill turns both men into nihilistic grumps, perhaps realistically but it doesn’t make either of them particularly entertaining to hang around with. It also makes both characters nearly godlike. They can’t accomplish goals they want to, but as much as they get beaten up and stymied they can still call on their powers to restart their lives when they fail or ‘cheat’ their realities to something more advantageous. Superhero movies are nothing new, but in the case of Volition the ‘hero’ is an unrepentant thug look to assuage his own guilt. If he wasn’t ridiculously weighted to be an almost parodic levels of a typical self-insertion persona. You generally want to be on the side of a hero which can mean being impressed by them or invested in their journeys, but if they seem exempt from consequences they can become irritating, the experiences they go through feeling arbitrary and contrived.

The effects are…not incredibly convincing, especially the canned blood effects. Ironically the aspects of the production that work best are those with the least to do with the time travel plot. The acting is top notch. The writing feels naturalistic when people are allowed to talk without spewing exposition about nonsense ‘science’ and causality. Direction is tight and evocative. It would actually have been much more interesting as a straight up crime drama about a questionable protagonist trying to put his life back together after a bout of conscience.

But as a time travel film it doesn’t have the special effects heft or grit to be either an effective sucker punch drama or a deep conversation causing what-if scenario. It’s hardly too long to be a snore, but not quite engaging enough to avoid being a bore.

Now available on Apple TV, Prime Video and other Digital Platforms “

[review]

Our Score
One thought on “Volition – Movie review “Now available on Apple TV, Prime Video and other Digital Platforms “”
  1. ??? An overlooked storyline twist in virtually ALL science fiction or fantasy movies about time travel, is that, what if the TIME STREAM ITSELF, is somehow alive and sentient? And, what if it did not LIKE people using advanced technology or magic to keep warping its paths? Like, in the popular ‘Dr. Who’ TV series, they keep rewriting or re-directing countless prime events of history, with NO apparent detrimental effects on the world or reality. The time stream might be like an existential rubber band, one that can be stretched somewhat on rare occasions, to point it into a different direction, but these SF storylines TIE IT INTO KNOTS, strangle it to death, so it makes the end of the space-time contintium or reality! I suspect that if someone did repeatedly, it would be the equivalent of poking a needle in a sleeping dragon, one that if fully awakened, and realizing what was being done to it, would react with massive prejudice and manifest itself as something to completely destroy the guy poking it!

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