Film Review: The Subjects

Anthony DeMare AJ DeMare
Contributor
November 13th, 2015

Astrophysics major with an obsession for comics, tv, movies and books, so please tell me how wrong I am

Film Review: The Subjects
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Review of: The Subjects
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Good

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On November 13, 2015
Last modified:November 13, 2015

Summary:

The Subjects is a worthwhile watch from writer/director Robert Mond

Review of: The Subjects
Price:
Good

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On November 13, 2015
Last modified:November 13, 2015

Summary:

The Subjects is a worthwhile watch from writer/director Robert Mond

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A unique anti-superhero concept stumbles in its execution in this boxed-in indy film. Our AJ DeMare breaks down the highs and lows in our exclusive ComiConverse review.

(Minor Spoilers Ahead)

Writer/Director Robert Mond's third film The Subjects is a self-professed anti-superhero movie, in which a group of strangers are promised an easy $800 for an 8-hour test study on the effects of an unknown drug. After being locked into a sound stage room, we quickly find out that this pill bestows super-human powers, but by having no control of these abilities, the group experiences dire and fatal consequences.

Between people losing arms to teleportation or spontaneous combustions, it's clear from the beginning that this group is out of their Justice league. The central idea here is unique and intriguing, but the personalities of each "hero" are too stereotypical, with roles like the ditzy party girl, the shy introvert and the ex-con bully coming off as too cliché. Other characters do make up for it though; like Phil, who appears in the room three quarters of the way into the film, making the viewer think that he was really there the whole time. Phil's power is invisibility, but by turning invisible he erases his existence from the past, which explains why no one recognizes him.

Ideas like this work well throughout the movie, but other concepts are not executed as clearly; with some never giving resolution to their respective plot points. Devin, the first to exhibit powers, spontaneously combusts for no reason, John, the magician reveals that he is not who they think he is in the last minutes of the movie, and Nikki, the strong female lead defeats the "God-like" Corey by turning him into... colour?

These questions sometimes frustrate the viewer, but other questions such as who is actually behind the Pharmaceutical company SunSkye, or where Corey transported the room towards the end of the movie, add to the mystery of the film.

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Mond does succeed in conveying the reality of a situation like this if it were to happen, with the randomness and fatality factor very evident throughout the movie. You can see that his ideas run deeper than they often appear, with concepts like time-travel and a "Dr. Manhattan" type character showing the thought that was put into the script. It's tough to do an entirely new movie that features superpowers, but his vision is well represented and the CGI is good enough.  It get's very stylish near the end when we get take in the "plot twist", but it remains simple enough to be believable.

The performances are good, but some characters become too over the top in their portrayals, like the criminal and all-around jack-ass Giggles, who comes across as too unbelievable to actually justify the emotions he is going through. His portrayal is on-point, but the character himself couldn't keep me interested in his frequent rage outbursts. Other characters such as Lilly are well done, with her attempt at trying to figure out the rules of time-travel working really well with the rest of the plot.

TS_Giggles Power 1

Credit: The Subject

All in all, The Subjects is worth a watch for it's unique concept, but doesn't hit home with the execution and the cookie-cutter characters that become increasingly frustrating.

Mond does showcase some great ideas within the themes of morality by showing that superpowers are not all smiles and saving the world, it can be sometimes be confusion and fatal mistakes. The film is a solid low-budget offering from a promising director that challenges the way we think about the current format of super-hero movies. His vision alone makes me eager to see what this director has up his sleeve next.

 

Our AJ DeMare is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @Perma_Trashed

The Subjects

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The Subjects is a worthwhile watch from writer/director Robert Mond

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