Carter (2022) is a story about a man unaware of his own identity, as it remains unclear to him what prompted him to the present state of spiraling chaos, with a mysterious voice instructing him about his next move as he remains short on time.
Set in a world where the DMZ virus has already obliterated the regions of North Korea and the US, the pandemic is on route to resurfacing again in South Korea as the danger looms about the implications for those infected all over the world, giving them a limited time of survival. Amidst such darkness, Dr. Jung remains the only capable individual to devise a vaccine to end this misery once and for all, with the help of her daughter, Jung Ha-Na’s antibodies. But things don’t go as they planned with both the doctor and his daughter mysteriously disappearing from the fold. Meanwhile, Carter, who suffers from memory loss, seems to have a connection with the doctor, as the CIA plans on bringing him down for information, while the mysterious voice prompts him to follow the orders for his survival. Conflicted by the overwhelming thoughts about his existence he compulsively decides to follow the orders in hope of gaining more information about himself as the mystery surrounding his motivation begins to unfold.
The action is possibly the most prominent part of this movie, and it is there in abundance. The direction is innovative in the sense it completely embodies the spirit of a video game, specifically the action set-pieces. The viewers like they are part of an experience, monitoring the movements of the protagonist, Carter, in third-person experience, giving the feel of smashing the keyboard for action combos. The editing is there to compliment the direction style of the same with quick transitions moving from one specified body movement to another. The problem is that’s just about it.
Even if it tries something creative, it doesn’t mean it pursues the craft masterfully. The editing is very inconsistent and overly done. There are at times it is seamless, but most of the time it just doesn’t necessarily do justice to the idea of the video-game dedicated presentation. The effects are added even in events where it is not necessary and at certain actions, they just feel buggy, missing a frame or two. Another highlight is the lack of story building within its structure. Even if its focus point remains on the lavish, out-of-the-top action, there is not much talked about the characters themselves. For the most part, it just feels like an extended mission level, followed by cutscenes and story checkpoints. The action itself, which is its seller point, is continuous without much break, which gets too dramatically out of touch with the laws of physics for its believability to the point, that it is not convincing despite the gore and violence. There is a story here, but no substance, as the movie prioritizes mindless action.
Forget about adapting the format, one of the important things it loses hindsight for is that even good video games focus on developing the story and building the characters, while this movie remains full of itself.
Final Score – [6/10]
Reviewed by - Devyansh Anand
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