Filmmaker Reese Eveneshen seems to be his own worst enemy with his latest project Defective. On one hand, on a limited budget, he’s developed Toronto into a nameless city living in a convincing dystopia. The visuals are on par with the works of Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium). However, Eveneshen’s overwritten screenplay becomes so convoluted, it reaches a point of no return.
Eveneshen initial set-up is a routine fugitive sci-fi thriller, but it’s intriguing due to Colin Paradine’s enjoyably shaggy runaway and the design of the robotic enforcers hunting him. Up-and-coming scream queen Raven Cousens (Dead Rush) stars as Paradine’s partner as he strategizes an escape for the state’s border. Although Cousens and Paradine make a good team, their characters’ relationship is a miscast stretch. That reveal is a minor spoiler, so let’s just say I would’ve had an easier time buying them as friends or lovers on the run.
Defective is entertaining until it tackles too many twists and character arcs. The visuals are still there, but they’re fighting – and losing – against the overtime the screenwriter has unnecessarily contributed.
For more information on the festival, visit the official Toronto After Dark website.
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