Review: THE PHOENIX PROJECT (2015)
A group of Scientists performs experiments on insects and mice to undo death. While they are running various experiments to see if they can actually revive an organism, something happens that changes the course of their lives drastically.
So what originally looked like a very good idea for a movie ends up being a giant borefest without anything that´s even mildly entertaining. THE PHOENIX PROJECT looks like a film school project gone wrong and lacks about everything that makes a good movie. A large part of runtime shows the four scientists making failed experiments that can be pretty much summed up as them trying to electrocute dead insects back to life and when it´s finally at the time for something to happen, the film is already over. So this is actually a textbook example of bad pacing in a movie.
Imagine someone sticking a battery up into the rectum of a hamster, then livestreaming it to the internet and waiting for the little bugger do the hamster dance. And all that while talking about the hazards of shingles for 90 minutes. Not that this has anything to do with the plot, but that´s pretty much how I felt while watching THE PHOENIX PROJECT. The basic idea of being able to outsmart the death is absolutely fascinating and mesmerizes humanity ever since. And I was really looking forward to get the movie and had already pre-ordered it some time before. But the way this was filmed was similarly captivating as a colonoscopy. The Dialogues are dull and the background music consists of painfully sounding piano tootling that makes you really regret that you chose this movie.
The script combines a couple of ideas that we´ve already seen many times before and the rest of the runtime is filled with eventless dialogues that are supposed to sound scientific.
Some of you may already know PRIMER? Well, PRIMER was a clever independent movie from 2004 that plays around with a similar theme and in some ways, THE PHOENIX PROJECT reminded me a lot about it.
The screenplay is a wild mix of FLATLINERS, PRIMER and FRANKENSTEIN. But while FLATLINERS was a neat Movie that took the scientific motive and wrapped it around a thrilling plot, THE PHOENIX PROJECT is basically the opposite and doesn´t fit in any genre. The reason for this is simple: Because nothing happens. It´s not horror because there are no scary scenes. It´s not a thriller because there is hardly any suspense and it´s also not science fiction because the outcome is too normal and predictable. But from all the problems this movie has, the terribly slow pacing is the biggest problem because you have a hard time staying awake. The acting is absolutely solid and that´s probably the best i can say about this movie. I so felt like a good direction could have changed a lot about this eventless anomaly because the original theme sounded pretty interesting and I am really surprised about how different the film turned out to be, compared to the cover. The whole plot drips like water from a faucet without ever reaching any kind of climax.
It´s really not my intention to bash this movie, but the whole plot goes to buttfrigin nowhere and I really want back the time that I wasted with this.
The Phoenix Project (2015) - 42%