CAPSULE: CAPSULE: Quantum teleportation may have side effects. This film is like a Whitman Sampler of cutting edge physics ideas packed into a science fiction mystery. ANTI-MATTER is very much auteur science fiction. Newcomer Keir Burrows writes and directs based on his own story. This is a film that could well earn a cult following. There is little visual flash to the story but it is an accomplished technical mystery. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10
The technical revolution in filmmaking is allowing some films to be made at a small fraction of what they would have cost a few decades ago. This means if a young filmmaker comes along with a good idea for a science fiction plot, it is not so hard to turn it into a film. So we are getting better science fiction films made without being hampered so much by budget constraints. Examples include time travel films like PREDESTINATION, CHRONO-CRIMES, and PRIMER. The latter involves a group of young science entrepreneurs who accidentally find a means of time traveling, strictly to their own disadvantage. ANTI-MATTER feels like it will be this year's PRIMER and has much of the same look and feel. Probably it will go directly to DVD, but I expect it will still get an audience.
The main character of ANTI-MATTER is Ana, played by Yaiza Figueroa, in the kind of role that used to go exclusively to white males. At Oxford Ana is a PhD student on a four-person team of physicists exploring some super-physics effects. They find a phenomenon that seems to have the power to make objects disintegrate. Before long they find that they also can teleport objects. Ah, but will it teleport a human? The physicists draw lots to see whom they are going to teleport. It turns out to be Ana (big surprise). The team prepares to send Ana--presumably taking adequate precautions to be sure that they are not at the same time teleporting a fly. The moment of teleportation should be the greatest moment of Ana's life, but when it is over and she is successfully teleported, suddenly she cannot remember whether it actually even happened. It turns out teleportation has unexpected memory effects. Her other team members seem suddenly reticent to discuss the results with Ana. At this point the film turns into a mystery as Ana has to figure out what could have happened and why her team mates are unwilling to talk to her. She finds that the formerly close-knit team are no longer so friendly. What is going on? Burrows juggles multiple red herrings to maintain suspense.
The science may of course be a little bogus. But the dialog that describes it sounds like it really has some meaning. That is another parallel to PRIMER. It is interesting to see what Burrows finds in other films to borrow. There is even a tribute to PLANET OF THE APES.
ANTI-MATTER is director Burrows' first feature length film, but he seems to have a good idea of what he is doing both in the writing and in this direction. The film does slow down a bit toward the middle of the film, but it does come back and while it does most audiences will stick around to see where the film is going. Yaiza Figueroa is a newcomer as well, but she also holds the audience's attention.
The ending has some logic problems but it still is an idea I have not seen elsewhere. And a film with new ideas is always welcome. I rate ANTI-MATTER a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. The indistinct English accents may be a problem for some viewers.
Release date: September 8
Film Credits: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4881364/combined
What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/anti_matter
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2017 Mark R. Leeper