GORE IN THE STORE
Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans
THE VISITOR FROM THE FUTURE ****
Directed by Francois Descraques.
Starring Arnaud Ducret, Florent Dorin, Enya Baroux, Raphael Descraques.
Science -Fiction, France, 105 mins.
Reviewed as part of Arrow FrightFest ‘22
There are two ways to do time travel in movies. The first being a serious look at the ramifications and paradoxes that can often result in confusion and head-spinning rules that bounce off each other in ever dizzying ways. Rules such as don’t change history or cause any change, even on the tiniest level. Then there is the second approach that takes a look at the rulebook and casually tosses it aside and just wants to have fun. The titular character in this French high-concept comedy makes a point of the latter option being his modus-operandi, resulting in a film that may have many serious-minded physicists tutting in disapproval while the rest of us are grinning widely with its highly entertaining tale of time stream meddling.
Starting off with an impressively gloomy shot of a nuclear reactor in meltdown we then follow a pair of scientists squabbling over how to avert the catastrophe and arguing over the less than helpful instructions provided for their outdated equipment. Proceedings are interrupted by the appearance of a scruffy gentleman claiming to be from the future. Disappearing and re-appearing instantly after almost every query after spending several months researching them, he is then interrupted a pair of helmeted and heavily armed officers of the Time Brigade, a time enforcement agency who are hell bent on capturing this time traveller and preserving the temporal status quo. This apocalyptic set-up then launches the audience back in time to a story of how a teenage environmentalist and her rebellion against her father, who just happens to be a nuclear industrialist, could be the key to averting a future where all life on the planet threatens to be wiped out by the forthcoming nuclear apocalypse.
Based on a web-series, this sci-fi comedy certainly has ambition on a number of fronts. Although filmed on a relatively low budget, it has an impressive scope and visual style. The apocalyptic backdrop of a decimated Parisian landscape under threat from a vast green toxic cloud makes for an impressive backdrop. Zooming further in to the deserted streets we are treated to a society of hard living survivors who if they aren’t drinking away the days on alcoholic insect juice, are training child soldiers to tackle roving zombies as well as evade the fascistic time cops who are constantly trying to bring the titular Visitor to justice.
Against this wild and fantastical backdrop is the more down to earth story of Alice and her estranged father Gilbert in the present day. Dealing with their own strained emotional relationship they are then dragged into this fantastical environment. On one level it works as an entryway for the audience to help navigate but on another it provides the emotional crux on which everything hinges. The comedy and action work well together, handled with slick aplomb by director Francois Descraques, who also helmed the much lower budgeted web-series, but both threads effectively give way to a highly affecting climax where impossible decisions and sacrifices must be made.
Certain plot threads may get lost in its packed out one-hundred-minute running time and the so-called science of it all falls to pieces after the briefest scrutiny but it hardly matters when it is so much fun. To see such ambition accomplished on a budget that would barely cover the first week on your Hollywood blockbuster is impressive enough. To see it done so well on a storytelling level that works so well emotionally with its spectacular visuals makes it a real treat that more than deserves to be tracked down.
Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans