Film Review: EXT (2019) (Short Film)

EXT *** Canada 2019 Dir: Adrian Bobb. 9 mins

Visual FX artist / writer / director Adrian Bobb riffs on some of James Cameron’s concepts and obsessions for this hugely ambitious short, set in the year 2354 A.D., three centuries after the “great digital immigration” has resulted in the whole of humankind abandoning accepted reality for the digital equivalent. Summoning humanity back to the real world is a war between the “First Gens”, those who sacrificed their bodies for immortal digital life – and their offspring, “Code-Spawn”, beings who never saw what we know as the real world. A new threat emerges in the shape of extremist traditionalists known as the Vitruvian Men.

The central dynamic is between a mother and a daughter on opposing sides of the fence, but this dystopian vision is compromised by extensive, cartoonish CGI that has no weight whatsoever, rendering the action scenes uninspiring and unexciting. The dialogue is high on portent and comic book sentiment: “Starting this war was easier. All you need is fear and nostalgia”, but human involvement and engagement in the story is low.

Review by Steven West


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