Monday, January 25, 2016
Ctl+Alt+Delete is a new sci-fi thriller from writer/director James B. Cox which proves definitively that when a film has a strong story, confident direction and a team of passionate individuals working in front of and behind the camera, no budget is too small for big thrills.
The drama centers around Thule, a cyber-security conglomerate that decides to cut its losses by instituting M.A.N.A., an artificial intelligence to manage its data centers. One night, the Thule offices are overrun by a trio of hackers seeking to expose the valuable secrets stored in the data vaults. Sensing an attack, M.A.N.A. fights back and gives the villains (and the heroes, for that matter) more than they bargained for. What ensues is a high-stakes game where the good guys and bad guys join forces to fight a larger, potentially smarter threat.
You don't see that "joining of forces" too often anymore in genre film. What makes this dynamic between the characters even more fascinating is just how intimate it is. The film has a very claustrophobic feel to it which lends urgency and tension to the proceedings. Even if we aren't always aware of the far-reaching consequences of the data breach, the close-knit clash of ideals between the characters keeps things interesting.
The film doesn't take itself too seriously as Cox peppers some nicely-timed comedy throughout his script. The characters Jayhawk (Adam Shapiro) and Rafi (Josh Banday) are the lovable misfits at Thule who end up playing a huge role in the outcome of the story. Rafi is especially fun as a more likable Dennis Nedry-type character whether he's building "failsafe" security software or hitting on interns at the gym.
Lastly I'll mention how amazing the visual effects are for a film with a budget under $500,000. The makeup effects and CGI look very professional and thus chilling at all the right moments.
Ctl+Alt+Delete is a rollicking blend of comedy and tense, sci-fi drama that should play very well with the Comic-Con crowd. With such a high concept and such a low budget, Cox pulls off fresh, fun things with his first feature-length film. Keep it on your radar as the year goes on, and don't pass up a chance to see it.