KIMI (2022) Techno-fear thriller reviews
Kimi is a 2022 American science fiction thriller about a young agoraphobic tech worker from Seattle who uncovers evidence of a murder.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Foolish; Side effects; Contagion) from a screenplay written by David Koepp (director of You should have left; Whirlwind of echoes; screenwriter of The Mummy 2017; Spider Man; jurassic park; panic room).
The film stars Zoë Kravitz (The Batman), Jaime Camil, Erika Christensen, Derek DelGaudio, Robin Givens, Charles Halford, Devin Retray (Alone at home), Jacob Vargas and Rita Wilson.
Kimi is an Alexa/Siri-like voice-activated digital assistant. He hears everything you say all the time, recording everything for a Big Brother type company. Angela Childs (Zoë Kravitz) is a voice performer who accidentally overhears a murder on a recording she is analyzing.
Angela is shaken after reaching out to co-workers. Why are her employers resisting her trying to bring this to the attention of the authorities?
“For all his legitimate concerns about the erosion of privacy in the digital age, Kimi is in many ways no less dumb and conspiratorial than moon fall, imagining Jeff Bezos as Big Brother and the entire Amazon staff as thought police. For those who prefer clever plot to F/X spectacle, however, it’s a lot easier to swallow. B, audiovisual club
“…Soderbergh seems uniquely determined to give us a fast-paced, mid-budget, ultra-durable thriller without pretensions – the type that Hollywood doesn’t really make anymore. It’s not the best movie or even the most memorable on Soderbergh’s resume, but it’s a movie that does exactly what it sets out to do. Best of all, the filmmaker doesn’t stick to a hacky message about how we should all unplug from our devices…” 7/10, /Movie
“Angela’s fears are largely conveyed by Soderbergh’s camera fluidity rather than her star’s facial and body language. When she finally ventures outside and Kravitz is given the opportunity to interact with anyone else, Kimi the film is as believable and real as Kimi produces it. But trapped inside (as fabulously appointed as those interiors are), the star and his film are struggling to breathe. The globe and the mail
“…a suspenseful nail-biter […] thanks to the tirelessly eclectic director Steven Soderbergh and veteran screenwriter David Koepp. Lean, mean, and driven by the filmmakers’ love letter to Hitchcock and Brian De Palma, this HBO Max premiere knowingly riffs on rear window and To extinguish in the age of virtual assistants, all-seeing algorithms, invasive surveillance and sneaky tech moguls. The Hollywood Reporter
“The sheer banality of Angela’s cat-and-mouse game against the corporate assassins on her trail is frightening enough to make up for the film’s limited scope, and Soderbergh creates such a vivid sense of open-air claustrophobia – from be caught in a net as wide as a wifi signal – that it can stage an intense action scene in a public/private space as small as the backseat of a van. IndieWire
“…reflects the realities of the surveillance state in which we have become strangely comfortable, even taking into account the constant threat of data breaches and the looming suspicion that we are constantly being watched and listened to. Yet for a film that brings together two incisive, interrelated facets of our current lived experiences, it’s seemingly uninterested in pursuing that connection. Pastry
“Söderbergh […] seems to be having a great time playing in the thriller sandbox, of the elegant simplicity of the third-act chase (she’s just trying to get from place to place while eluding surveillance, but it’s is a nail biter) to the genuinely heartbreaking track with a pickup truck abduction attempt to the delightful mechanics of everything he does in the Wait until nightfall-style highlight. A-, The reading list
“…the film’s fun lies in the modestly budgeted brilliance and uncanny ingenuity of Soderbergh’s direction.” He became the Samuel Fuller of minimalist independent kicks. His joy in making films shines through everywhere – insofar as, as director of photography (uncredited), he frames each shot like a sentence in a story…” Variety
Kimi premiering on HBO Max on February 10, 2022.
Main actors and characters (in order of appearance):
Beaufort India … Sharon
Derek DelGaudio … Bradley Hasling
Sarai Koo … Jessica Hasling
Jaime Camil … Antonio Rivas
Koya Harada … Bradley’s son
Zoë Kravitz … Angela Childs
Devin Ratray … Kevin
Betsy Brantley … Kimi
Byron Bowers…Terry Hughes
Lakin Valdez … Marcos
Robin Givens … Angela’s mother
Alex Dobrenko … Darious Popescu
Emily Kuroda … Doctor Sarah Burns
Charles Halford … big thug
Jacob Vargas … Thug with glasses
Rita Wilson … Natalie Chowdhury
Filming locations :
1 hour 29 minutes
The soundtrack includes Billie Eilish’s Oxytocin; Inertia Creeps by Massive Attack; Piano Sonata No. 23: Beethoven’s Allegro assai; Piano Sonata No. 7: III. Menuetto: Beethoven’s Allegro; Sabotage of the Beastie Boys and Connection of Elastica.
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