Advantageous

It’s not often you get to see a sci fi movie like this one. It’s really more of a drama within the setting of a future world and a new, world-changing technology. The sci fi elements are there, for sure, but the focus is more on the characters. And that’s something that it seems sci fi hardly ever does anymore.

Jacqueline Kim plays a single mother trying to take care of her daughter, while being pushed out of her job due to her aging looks. It’s about the extreme measures a parent will go to for their child, even if the child never knows it. It manages to be heartfelt, dramatic, interesting, and somewhat disturbing all at once.

Kim is really great in this movie, and though I’ve never seen her in anything else, I’m interested to see more of her. Her portrayal of Gwen’s desperation is powerful, and made me feel for her. That sense of helplessness when she’s cut from her job for a younger person to be the face of a company that markets youth–it’s something that can’t be argued, or fought against. Knowing that her skills don’t matter, just her looks, is frustrating and she shows it well.

The sci fi aspects of this movie, like I said, are not the focus. And you don’t specifically learn what her company does (though you can probably guess) until much into the story. This movie does it right with the buildup, the dramatic tension, the emotions.

And the end is not an explosion, in fact there is not one act of violence in this entire movie. There is no twist, there is no badguy to catch, there is no mystery to solve. And I found it very enjoyable to, for once, have a sci fi movie completely about the story and the characters, with nothing else to distract you from them.

Though, I will admit it was slightly jarring seeing Ken Jeong in a serious role, but he did well, and the mental interruption only lasted a minute.

If you want a thoughtful, feeling, interesting movie about people, instead of about guns and aliens and superpowers, then check this one out.

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