Re-evolution movie still of the 4 lead characters, one brandishing a gun

Review of Re-evolution – the €6,000 thriller featuring at the 2018 Spanish Film Festival

Re-evolution taps into today’s digital-age world of fake news, social media and the potential for oppression and liberation of the individual. Made for an astounding €6,000, it is one of the films featuring in the 2018 Spanish Film Festival.

3 out of 5 stars

Review: (rolanstein)
Before getting to Re-evolution, a quick word on the Spanish Film Festival. It’s been the source of three of my very favourite films of recent years – the fabbo Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed (2014), the groundbreaking Argentinian black comedy Wild Tales, which I rated best film of 2015, and the psychologically astute and profoundly moving Argentinian/Spanish co-production Truman in 2016.

Not all of these outstanding films made it to the cinema circuit in Perth. That’s the thing with festivals – you get to experience great movies you might not see anywhere else. So seize the opportunity while you can! The 2018 Spanish Film Festival starts 26 April and goes through to 16 May.

Also featuring this year due to overwhelming audience demand are encore screenings of the gentle and acutely observed little gem Summer 1993, which I reviewed last year. And the finale of the Festival is Guillermo del Toro’s celebrated Pan’s Labyrinth – a rare treat to have this up on the big screen.

Re-evolution does not belong in such esteemed company. However, it’s unique among the films featuring in the 2018 Spanish Film Festival in that it was made for an astonishing €6,000. Visually, it’s pretty damned impressive – it has no business looking as good as it does on that minuscule budget. What price talent? Bouquets to director David Sousa Moreau and his camera crew.

All the performances are good. The cast includes a couple of stars who must have been willing to take a paycut to be involved – Hovik Keuchkerian (Assassin’s Creed) and Juan Pablo Shuk (Narcos).

The narrative is driven by an original and thought-provoking utopian premise – that governments of the world could be replaced by an online global community taking democracy way beyond pre-digital-age imagination. Having devised a software program to this end, which they name ATLAS, four geeky revolutionaries set about uploading it by hijacking Europe’s TV satellite system, and mount a campaign via social media to enrol the entire population of Europe in their revolutionary vision.

We learn via regular flashback (which gets tiresome) that the revolutionaries – unemployed and newly dumped Doni (Leandro Rivera), bankrupt TV producer David (Fele Martínez), disillusioned cop Max (Hovik Keuchkerian) and hacker Jack (Gorka Otxoa), just released from jail – are pissed off at being controlled by “the system.” Hence their motivation to overthrow it. Unfortunately, they function mostly as philosophical mouthpieces, spouting off recycled existentialist protests about the meaninglessness of life, the oppression of the individual by – yes – “the system”, and so on. We’ve heard it all before, many times.

It’s a pity the filmmakers got caught up in preaching their message ad nauseum like this, rather than letting their characters off the leash. There are some exciting ideas at the core of Re-evolution, but through excessive showcasing they stifle the drama rather than fuel it.

Young filmmakers struggling with restrictive budgets will want to catch Re-evolution. Ditto anyone interested in films tapping into today’s world of fake news, social media and the potential for oppression and liberation of the individual through digital technology. While this work does not realise the potential of its premise, it raises some enticing ideas and narrative possibilities that may well be picked up and expanded upon in other movies. What odds a Hollywood remake?

Movie Website:

Re-evolution features: Leandro Rivera, Fele Martínez, Gorka Otxoa, Hovik Keuchkerian
Writer/Director: David Sousa Moreau

Australian release date: Re-evolution is one of the films featuring in the 2018 Spanish Film Festival program. The Festival runs in Perth at Cinema Paradiso and at Luna on SX, Fremantle, from Thursday 26 April to Wednesday 16 May.
Check 2018 Spanish Film Festival program link for details.

For other Boomtown Rap movie reviews, see Movie Review Archives

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