Monday, September 30, 2013

+1 (2013)(Spoiler Review)

**This review contains spoilers**

During a surprise visit to his girlfriend Jill’s (Ashley Hinshaw) college, as she prepares to compete in a fencing tournament, David (Rhys Wakefield) accidentally kisses the woman, who defeated Jill after the competition. Heartbroken at the sight of her boyfriend kissing another woman, Jill disappears before David has a chance to explain himself.

After the incident, Jill refuses to speak to or see David, and when David tries to reach out to Jill via social media, Jill blocks him. David, looking for another chance to apologize to Jill, follows his best friend, Teddy (Logan Miller) to a local house party hosted by Angad (Rohan Kymal), who’s desperately seeking acceptance from everyone. At the party, David and Teddy are surprised by Allison (Suzanne Dengel), another friend, who’s a known outcast, and David struggles to get a moment alone with Jill after she shows up to the party with a new guy named Steve (Peter Zimmerman).

But Dave’s mission to recapture Jill’s heart takes a backseat to a bigger problem, when an asteroid crashes into Earth. As the glowing asteroid fuses with the local power lines, the asteroid causes uncontrollable rips in the current timewave, creating a set of clones for each person at the party. The unexplainable phenomenon interrupts Teddy’s one night stand with Melanie (Natalie Hall), and together, David, Allison, and Teddy try to come up with a solution to control the cloning problem.

Well, I’ll get this out of the way now. Rohan Kymal’s Angad is the most annoying character in this film. Angad is this pandering loser, who’ll do ANYTHING to build up his reputation as the “big man on campus.” Plus, he has this annoying and persistent habit of trying to fit in with all the cool kids, when it’s clear 95% of the people at the party can stand him.

Hinshaw delivers the best performance, with Rhys Wakefield taking the spot for runner up. I get the point of Wakefield’s David being this lost and clueless dope, who’s trying to figure things out, but the Jill character is more passionate, angry, and vindictive. Bottom line, Jill has a more lively personality, and Hinshaw was far more convincing, especially during the heated arguments with David. Wakefield isn’t awful, but David is such a boring character. Logan Miller is okay at best, and Hall is just eye candy for the most part. Suzanne Dengel? She’s okay. Allison has a one-dimensional personality, as the typical angry high school outcast/loner, who spends most of her time listening to angry rock music, and hating everything. Not a bad performance from Dengel, but nothing too remarkable either.

Plus One feels like two movies in one: first half is a wild and crazy party movie, but the second half is a full blown sci-fi thriller. To use a more recent example, it’s like Project X meets an episode of The Twilight Zone. At first, you’ll hear loud club music, see wild party games, a naked woman, who’s being used as a buffet table with food spread across her body, topless women, strippers performing some weird glow in the dark routine, and a VERY lengthy sex scene between Miller and Hall, that’s split up into separate parts. Not complaining about seeing Hall naked, but after while, everything feels really excessive, unfunny, and unnecessarily raunchy to the point where I was just waiting for the romp to be over. Anyway, once David, Teddy, and Allison realize the clones and the rips in the timewaves, you’re thrust into a mysterious and thought-provoking sci-fi thriller.

It’s a good and bad thing for a handful of reasons. The bad side? The transition to the supernatural side of the film feels kind of awkward at first, because they’re trying to tell too many stories at once. David is still trying to fix things with Jill, but he pissed off the real Jill, so learning from his mistakes, David tries his luck with the cloned Jill. And David uses a glass to knock out the cloned version of himself, so the clone won’t ruin things with Jill. Teddy is trying to straighten out a mess after the clone versions of himself and Melanie come fact to face with the real Melanie and the real Teddy. After getting revenge on one of the mean girls, who pulled a prank on her at the party, the real Allison is wandering around until she runs into the cloned Allison, and together, both Allisons have a long talk about life, and it ends with both Allisons kissing each other. AND on top of all that, you have Teddy and Angad doing everything they can to try and convince everyone at the party the clones are real, while they devise a plan to survive.

During the calamity, the story becomes one big jumbled mess, that reaches a too frustrating point more than once, and it’s hard to overlook this. Plus, there’s no resolution to the storylines involving Allison and Teddy. Allison kisses herself (literally), and after Teddy asks for another chance with Melanie…..Melanie simply walks away without giving an answer either way? 

The good side? During the “What’s going on!“ dilemma, the twists and turns are genuinely shocking. David murdering the real Jill in favor of the cloned Jill? Yeah, I didn’t see that coming. David was SO desperate to fix things with Jill, he murdered the real Jill, because he knew the relationship was damaged beyond repair, and he didn’t want to take the chance of the cloned Jill running into the real Jill. What’s going to happen, when the clones come face to face with the real versions of themselves? The clones obviously have no idea what’s going on, but they want life, the real partygoers realize this, and during each time jump, the clones take one step closer to catching up to the current timeline.

So for the grand finale, the real partygoers, barricaded in a pool house, come face to face with the time jumping clones, and out of fear, the real partygoers do everything they can to fight, and kill the clones. It’s a chaotic and nail-biting scene to watch, because I had no idea what would happen next or who would die.

Plus One is loaded with a lot of noticeable problems, but I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t have a lot of fun (I  laughed my ass off, when the buffet woman used a flying karate kick) with this one. Watching Plus One is like watching a flaming train wreck with a fireworks show in the background, and a bear on a unicycle juggling, it’s almost impossible to look away. The hectic mashup of sci-fi elements, a love story, and a party movie will probably annoy most people. But for me, Plus One is still an ambitious and bold sci-fi thriller, that takes a lot of risky chances with hopes of being something different, and I apprentice the effort.

Rating: 7/10

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