- X 2019
Nicholas Gyeney, André Kirkman, Larenz Tate, Shelley Stepanek (executive), Kevon Stover (executive) for Mirror Images
directed by Nicholas Gyeney
starring Manu Bennett, Larenz Tate, Linden Ashby, Kevon Stover, Brandy Kopp, Sara Coates, Yuji Okumoto, Edward Michael Scott, Edi Zanidache, Bill Sorice, Stefan Hajek, Adrien Gamache, Mark Riccardi, Angela DiMarco, Angela Okumoto, Anthony Phillips, Alan Pepper, Richard Cranor, Brad Hackworth, Kevin Park, Sean Furguson, Jeff McKracken, Andrew Dickert, Lex Damis, Gurkaran Singh, Ben Leiataua, Rob Bradstreet, Henry Feldmann, Lou Simon (II), John Steel MacDonald, Dennis Tudos, McKay Stewart, Nicholas Gyeney
story by Nicholas Gyeney, screenplay by Nicholas Gyeney, André Kirkman, music by Amir Derakh, Ryan Shuck, Anthony Valcic
For quite some time now, Kincaid (Linden Ashby) and Creed (Manu
Bennett), bosses of Sentinel Enterprises, one of the biggest video game
companies there is, haven't seen eye-to-eye, which came to a head when
Kincaid removed Creed from the company ... and then thugs are breaking
into Creed's place, kidnap his girlfriend Abby (Sara Coates) and implant a
microchip in his spine ...
Agoraphobic championship gamer Max (Larenz
Tate) receives the latest game from Sentinel Enterprises, being their top
beta tester, and he really likes what he sees, he's first the hero that
ends a hostage situation at a bank (even if he gets away with $2 million
in the process), then he helps a high school shooter (Anthony Phillips)
escape - hey, bad story line, but it's only a game ... that's only in beta
testing even. But then Max catches the news that both these incidents have
actually happened, right when he played the game, with exactly the outcome
he saw on his monitor ... and eventually, it becomes clear to him that
during his gaming sessions, he has actually controlled Creed in real life.
Shocked at what he did (especially helping the school shooter escape), Max
wants to quit immediately, but whoever it is who's on top of this has made
very sure that both Max and Creed will remain part of the game willingly -
so the only way to survive is actually playing the game.
fortunately, Max knows how to play games better than everyone else - but
unfortunately, the real world isn't always as simply to master as a video
Now ok, from a purely logical standpoint, Beta Test
doesn't make all that much sense, it's maybe not as far fetched as Tron
has been back in the day, but still rather removed from a realistic
depiction of gaming. That said though, Tron
has become a bona fide genre classic ... and while Beta Test is by
no means as trailblazing as the earlier film (and hasn't set out to be),
it's based on a very tight script that might be far-fetched but it's also
narratively stringent and true to its own logic - and it's
well-structured, fast-paced and features action aplenty. And especially
the scenes where the real world and the game world meet are rather
lovingly executed. Plus, the film's over-the-topness without ever really
overdoing it is really endearing.
Really fun entertainment, actually!