Once again virtual reality is the new hot thing in computer gaming and this time it looks like it might live up to its hype. VR has long been a staple of fiction, be it STAR TREK’s holodeck, the world of TRON and of course, THE MATRIX and its sequels. Now veteran composer, Guy-Roger Duvert, makes his directorial debut with 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION, which mixes virtual reality, politics and old school detective work in a film that asks some interesting questions about the nature of both reality and freedom.
In the Paris of 2047 most of the population never leave their apartments, perpetually plugged into virtual reality games. These are “The Connected”. The actual running of the city is done by “Hybrids”, who tear themselves away from their games long enough to have some kind of existence in the outside world. When a group known as The Necromancers unleash a system virus that results in real deaths, Detective Nash (Mike Dopud SEED, DRIVEN TO KILL) is hired by Dina (Jane Badler V , NEEDLE) on behalf of Systernis, one of the affected corporations. But this isn’t purely business for Nash, he lost loved ones in the attack. With the aid of hacker Morel (Maximilien Poullein) he goes after the Necromancers and soon finds himself caught between them, Systernis and INTERPOL.
2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION owes a lot to BLADE RUNNER, both in its visual design and its use of a hard-boiled private investigator as its protagonist. It also works in elements from SURROGATES and even GAMER to create a more action-oriented plot. However, it also raises some very serious questions about what is real and just what is freedom. The Necromancers want to free the population from the “digital prison” of the games, but if the people choose to live in them, is forcing them out really giving them freedom?
A cyberpunk noir with a deeper undercurrent of serious ideas, 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION manages to straddle both the serious and pulpish sides of science fiction. The effects are excellent by any standards, let alone those from a low budget film. There are plenty of action and fight scenes, but at the same time, it’s tackling some issues that run a lot deeper, especially as technology becomes a more ingrained part of people’s lives. Duvert has made a stunning debut as a director and I’ll certainly be watching anything else he makes.
This recipient of over 40 awards, including Best Film at The Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and Best Feature at Dragon Con, makes its US DVD premiere January 16 from Wild Eye Releasing.