Release Date: July 23, 2012
Director: Joe Kawasaki
Stars: Emily Somers, Travis Aaron Wade, Martin Copping
Runtime: 40 min
Tagline: Your world is about to be reset.
This my first taste of a cyberpunk dystopian film, and this turns out to be really enjoyable.
Set within a dystopian world that is a collision between technology and humanity, Reboot follows a young female hacker who awakens from a traumatic event that she scarcely remembers, and an iPhone glued to her hand. On the phone, a countdown is ticking away to zero. What happens at zero? Who is she, and why has she become an extension of the device? As the minutes tick away, our heroine must race against time to put the pieces together before the mysterious, pending zero-hour strikes.
With a great voice-over radio interview and some stellar cinematography, the technological atmosphere is set. There are hackers all around in this futuristic world, some who try to steal information off the web, and those who try to protect the information on the web.
Stat (Emily Somers), the female hacker who has the iPhone glued to her hand, is one of these protectors. The performance by her is great, because she really portrays emotions of stress really well. That is mostly at the end, though, because throughout the short film, she’s in a state of mind where she thinks she can hack the thing and deactivate the countdown. Did the character development make me care for Stat? A little.
She is a hacker who protects the unsuspecting people from identity theft and all that jazz, so one wouldn’t want something potentially horrid happen to a good person. The usually engaging storyline makes her character more interesting, as the narration tells us how she got in this situation.
It leads to this mysterious Jesse character, an extremely opinionated psychopath with a specific agenda. He is portrayed by Travis Aaron Wade, who delivers a fairly chilling performance. The other performers are solid, but I didn’t really care for the other characters. However, they are there for support, so they aren’t extremely important to the development of the film.
Someone who isn’t a genius with technology, like myself, wouldn’t be able to see many plot holes the film may possess. Though, for hacker geniuses, they might be bothered by any hacking inconsistencies. I’m able to get past it, because none were prominent to me. When some characters are talking about technology, it goes over my head, but most concepts are easy to follow.
The concept of people’s reliance on technology is a prominent one in the film, and it’s fairly fresh and fascinating. Mostly because it’s extremely true. The first thing many teenagers, or anyone else really, do in the morning is check their Blackberry’s or iPhone’s for texts, Facebook notifications, tweets, etc. We need to learn to be independent and interact with people more, and pay attention instead of being utterly enveloped by the virtual world. This is a main message of the compelling short feature.
In a nutshell: The premise is cool and the filmmakers do a great job with the twelve thousand dollar budget. If this was stretched to a feature film, it might not be great. While it ends before I’d like it to, and I’d like to see where it might go if extended, but the end product is satisfying. This has fine pacing, and it’s a great mystery.