Movie Review: Singularity

By Thom Compton 05.12.2019


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Singularity (UK Rating: 12)

Don't you just hate when a company creates robots to save humanity and then becomes evil and ends up wiping it out? It's the worst, right? Singularity is another film about an evil corporation, or at least one with a crazy CEO, who ends up dooming humanity. Like many other films with this plot line, it follows two survivors, Calia and Andrew, as they attempt to reach a sanctuary. All is not what it seems though, and that evil CEO is monitoring them closely, trying to find the last of humanity to snuff it out.

Singularity has some interesting ideas, though nothing particularly innovative. Sadly it squanders every last one of those ideas, and manages to be a film that's entertaining for all the worst possible reasons. For a sci-fi thriller that's about the death of humanity, this film manages to be so unintentionally funny that if it were a comedy there would be something almost brilliant about it. It's not though. It's a very self-serious film, and it's painful to watch it try to be so.

Beginning with the cinematography, as it's probably the best thing (from a technical stand point) about this. It's mostly competent, but during action sequences, the shaky cam is nauseating and very erratic. During one chase sequence, it becomes very hard to even tell what's going on, as the shaky cam seems to be mounted to a short skunk having a panic attack. That is to say, it's low, and it is bringing all the 'shaky' one could want from their shaky cam.

Next up is the acting. It can often be difficult to muster up the kind of callous apathy one needs to tear into someone's performance that some bad acting warrants, but in the case of Singularity, it's a hard truth. The performances here are extremely bad. Calia is probably the best of the bunch, and the actress portraying her never seems to be sure what she wants to do with the part. That could easily be blamed on the bad script, but that'll have to wait a bit.

Andrew's performance is the most obviously bad, with all of his panicked looks appearing closer to someone who's just been told that "Jessica called off, so we need you to work her shift too" - definitely not the look of someone who is facing down a giant death machine. Even when he's just existing, whether it be a nice moment of peace or he is deep in thought, he never seems particularly committed to bringing anything to the character other than getting the lines out in a timely fashion.


 

John Cusack plays the aforementioned CEO and his performance is generally the funniest. He always looks half asleep, and most of his scenes are relegated to him staring at the protagonists from a distance and pushing his pointer finger into his chin. His dialogue is ridiculous, often coming off like a smug guy at a party telling a young girl how he's not allowed to take AP Bio next semester cause he would make the other students look bad.

The dialogue throughout this movie is astounding. There's no real misuse of technical terms or fake science jargon like you might expect, which is nice. However, there's a lot of waxing on about existence from Cusack and his brother, Damien (who may give the best performance of the film, by the way, though that isn't saying much). Andrew offers nothing of real value to any conversation, and again, Calia has the most to say, but also has the worst line in the whole movie. If you watch this film, keep on the lookout for the line, "You're the most dangerous thing that's ever existed." It might not sound too bad, but in context, it's so baffling inept it's deserving of being memed.

Calia also gets voice over time where she explains painfully obvious thing after painfully obvious thing. Exposition in this film is handled with all the subtlety of hiding rocks in someone's spaghetti. Ii's either Calia prattling on about something that is blatantly obvious, or the opening moments of the film where the film has on screen text to lay out the little bit of background you might actually need to know what's happening.

Then there's the actual story, and boy howdy, does that miss the mark too. For a film that's so overloaded with standard tropes (oblivious boy gets saved by battle hardened girl, humans are just as scary as machines, evil corporation destroying humanity, etc.), it fails to do any of them correctly. Character decisions are just meant to move them from place to place, rarely making anything even approaching sense. Often moments that are meant to build tension fall apart due to glaring plot holes or characters acting in a way only poorly conceived movie characters could.


The films special effects are, surprisingly, mostly alright. There are certain effects, like explosions, this film doesn't handle particularly well, but the look of most of the monsters is fairly ok. Fight scenes are a wash though, being boring and poorly choreographed. Again the camera work does them no favours, especially during a revelatory scene about Andrew. Thanks to shoddy editing though, which results in much of the film feeling like a summarized version of itself, all the pros are quickly lost under an enormous pile of cons.

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

 Singularity has one saving grace, and that's that it's an unintentionally hilarious movie. It will induce laughs, either from its terrible dialogue, its subpar performances, or its ridiculous plot points. There are some good ideas here, but they are handled so poorly, that you'll likely find yourself not caring in the slightest. For a laugh, it's a passable treat. For literally any other reaction, this is a failed experiment that will wipe out the enthusiasm of almost any viewer.

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