Set in the near future this science fiction thriller considers a time when recreational drugs have been legalised and are controlled by big businesses such as the fictional Ambro Products. Ambitiously directed and scripted by Justin Trefgarne and clearly influenced by both Bladerunner and District 9 and utilising these elements wisely to create something original and worthy in its own right.
The bulk of the film is set in the earlier date of 2024 and follows the plight of policeman Frank Grieves (Elliot Cowan) who is barely managing to keep his family life with his wife and son together when his life is thrown further into chaos when a corpse with DNA cannot be identified. Intrigued by this he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into a situation he can no longer extricate himself from. Eventually the disparate strands of the narrative thread unravel and it becomes clear that Frank’s involvement in the case is even more closely linked than he originally envisaged.
Trefargne does an admirable job of the future and the cinematography captures, combines and contrasts both the squalid deterioration of the future for those caught up in medicated addiction combined with the shiny new technologies and sleek visions of those who are behind the big corporations feeding those addictions. Cowan gives a grizzly performance which is always convincing and although it doesn’t have the big budgets of the films it in clearly inspired by thus doing away with any fancy and unnecessary effects this in some ways makes it feel more real and relatable, therefore less of a fantasy future. This is key to what makes the film more successful than others of its genre.