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‘The Answer’ (review)

Produced by Iqbal Ahmed, Maria Valentina Bove
Written and Directed by Iqbal Ahmed
Starring Austin Hébert, Alexis Carra, David S. Lee,
Adam Shapiro, Mark Deklin, Denisha Saunders,
Cranston Johnson, Tyler Richardson

Have you ever watched a movie that’s so poorly paced, lazily written, and jarringly bad it doesn’t even know what genre it wants to attempt so it tried to be everything at once?  Now you’re just left staring at the screen in utter confusion and regret. Fortunately for The Answer, this is not the case.

Masterfully blending mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and thriller it is a gift from the Movie Gods that’s so incredibly focused it creates it’s own genre.

The Answer introduces us to Bridd Cole (Austin Hebert) as he tries to find himself through the midst of pain, suffering, lost and masked extraterrestrials that leaves watchers begging for more and unable to predict what will come next.

Telling the tale of an introverted young man that after an attack must follow clues left by his dead parents in order to figure out who is after him and who he really is. The movie itself is shrouded in mystery, which is usually a bad omen, a warning from the studio. However, this decision was for the benefit of the movie, the less you know the more enjoyable it’ll be.

Bridd Cole is an timid man and he’s not complaining about it. A man without a family and only one friend, Bridd is a mail room clerk who makes his own lunches and has a routine. However, he does possess the ability to process information at superhuman speeds, speeds so fast it actually has an affect on time. Bridd knew from an early age that he was different but unlike others, he chooses to be ordinary and invisible; that’s until he receives a letter in the mail that forever changes his life and the way he once lived.

While I won’t spoil the plot, it is impactful and never manages to go stale. Each scene has a purpose and because of first-time director Iqbal Ahmed visual finesse, he finds clever and unique ways to add a visual charm and atmospheric claustrophobia without the need of special effects, explosions or overly done jump scares.

However, much like life, The Answer is not perfect. Hebert’s limited acting abilities or acting choices are painfully noticeable. While the script requires the actors to pull from a range of emotions, Hebert doesn’t allow himself to truly immerse himself in the role, instead opting to recite every line like he’s in shock. Even though Bridd lives his life in self-pitying isolation, and loneliness, Bridd grows and becomes more confident. There are moments that bring him joy and excitement, finally having a purpose, however each line is painfully delivered like he’s dead inside. This is lifelessness becomes even worse during beautifully shot fight scenes and action sequences that scream for personality.

Fortunately, there’s Charlotte (Alexis Carra) to help guide this movie along. Filled with personality and spunk, her comebacks and one-liners are refreshing and delightful. Acting alongside Hebert, she brushes aside all fears that Hebert’s acting will be this movie’s downfall. Together, their chemistry is undeniable and organic.

Despite Hebert’s acting faults, The Answer is welcomed surprise. Smart action sequences that’s more realistic because of budget constraints resulted in an effective and original movie that shouldn’t be missed.

 

The Answer is now playing On Demand

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