SXSW FILM 2012
By Don Simpson | March 14, 2012
Director: Nir Paniry
Writers: Nir Paniry, Gabriel Cowan, John Suits
Starring: Sasha Roiz, Jenny Mollen, Dominic Bogart, Richard Riehle, Nick Jameson, Rodney Eastman, Frank Ashmore, Brad Culver, Ty Simpkins, Sara Tomko, Augie Duke, Mattie Grace Campos, Jen Davis, Bernhard Forcher, Darren Melameth, Robert Lewis Stephenson
Tom (Sasha Roiz) has invented a device that is able to extract memories. His intention — of course — is for his creation to help others. But, as we all know, scientific studies that are designed to “help others” do to equate to significant amounts of revenue; and Tom’s creation requires a significant boost in time and capital to complete the prototype. Enter a secret investor who has dastardly ulterior motives — well, okay, his motives are not that dastardly, his intent is to use Tom’s device to “improve” the accuracy of the criminal justice system.
Tom finds himself conflicted. Large sums of money and fame are being dangled in front of him, but he has hesitations. For one, what about the personal freedoms of the accused? The government cannot just probe citizens’ memories to determine guilt or innocence…or can they? Secondly, the device has not been tested thoroughly enough. It could be dangerous to humans. Who knows what could happen?
Eventually, Tom caves. He rushes to finish a prototype in time for a demo. Tom and an accused murderer sit side by side as Tom travels into the murderer’s mind. Will the device work? If so, what will he find in there?
Extracted is one of those films that sounds amazing on paper. This was one of my most anticipated films of SXSW Film 2012, which probably explains why I feel so let down… The concept seems like something out of the Twilight Zone, and the plot has some interesting socio-political twists; but the finished film seems more like a made for television movie that can be found on some random cable network at 3:00am on a week night. The production value is extremely high, but the dialogue falls pretty flat; the pacing and structure seem a bit off to me as well. I found myself getting very antsy and frustrated as the film progressed, waiting for the plot to go deeper or for something truly significant to happen.