Soulcatcher, directed by Daniel Markowicz, takes pallid filmmaking to new heights. It indeed catches the very soul of cinema, traps it inside a box, and blows it up in an explosion. To call this film terrible would mean it manages to evoke a strong response from the audience, no matter how unfavorable. No, Soulcatcher doesn't have a beating heart in its torpid body. It's neither exciting nor disgusting. It's just disappointing. The movie has some superficial political messaging, which gets muddled and blown into pieces amidst bungling violence and mind-numbing explosions.
In Soulcatcher, a mercenary, Fang (Piotr Witkowski), and his team are sent to seize a superweapon that was initially developed to cure cancer but has now been tweaked to turn people into savage killers. Apart from that, the weapon also temporarily disrupts communication signals. The bad guy here is General Yousif, and Mariusz Bonaszewski gives an exaggerated performance that feels more camp and less menacing. Another thing that's (unintentionally) funny is the way the characters hit one another in the film. There are moments where you can see that the actors are just lightly moving their hands, that they are faking the slaps and the kicks and not attacking each other with a believable intensity. Markowicz is not good at executing action scenes. He tries to cover up his clumsiness through fast cutting.
Everyone is barely developed as a character; still, the film asks us to consider them heroes and humans. The movie insists that Fang and the other team members have all been friends for a long time, but they look like people who came into existence only when the camera started rolling. The scene where they all laugh and drink is so formulaically shot that it gives us visual nausea. The movie almost forces us to cry when these flat cardboard cutouts are hit by bullets or die. The somber mood, though, produces chuckles, and the whole scene instantly collapses.
The romance between Fang and Eliza (Michalina Olszanska) is half-baked, but Olszanska and Witkowski exude high amounts of sexual tension by simply looking at each other. The movie, though, has no time for sex. It undercuts the carnal desires by hurriedly moving the story to its destination. All we get is a kiss, and that, too, is unsurprisingly interrupted. Soulcatcher, after all, is impotent. It's tame as it lacks testosterone. The movie looks so ugly that I never wanted to look at the screen. The repulsiveness further increases when there is chaos or bomb blasts. The scene near the end that takes place in a room with flickering lights is visually so abhorrent that it made me dizzy and sick. You don't need a superweapon to fill people with aggression. Just show them Soulcatcher. However, the movie is so dull that many viewers could fall asleep while watching it.
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