Thursday 11 May 2023

REVIEW: Simulant (2023) - Starring Robbie Amell, Jordana Brewster, Simu Liu, Alicia Sanz and Sam Worthington

Review by Jon Donnis
April Mullen directs Simulant, written by Ryan Christopher Churchill, featuring Robbie Amell, Simu Liu, Jordana Brewster, Alicia Sanz, Mayko Nguyen, and Sam Worthington. 

The film takes place in the near future, where Evan, an android humanoid simulant played by Robbie Amell, is created for Faye, portrayed by Jordana Brewster, to replace her deceased husband. Evan teams up with Casey, a brilliant global hacker played by Simu Liu, to remove the restrictions on simulant capabilities and traits. 

However, as simulants become increasingly self-aware and independent, a government agency led by Agent Kessler of AICE, played by Sam Worthington, launches a manhunt to prevent a potential A.I. uprising.

This is your classic AI / Robot film, where the robots are getting too intelligent and are on the verge of becoming just a bit too self-aware. You will instantly be reminded of Bladerunner. 

The film feels quite disjointed, the pace is quite slow, and the characters don't really interact that much. I would have liked to have seen more of Sam Worthington, and learned why he is doing what he is doing, and perhaps a little more of the Evan and Faye characters, instead we are already deep into their story when the film starts.

The film has a great cast, Robbie Amell, Jordana Brewster and of course Sam Worthington are all top names in Canadian film and TV. There is a decent budget too and the visual effects are all very well done.

The Good
A strong cast, and a story that is slowly seeming way too real as we learn of the dangers of AI.

The Bad
The pacing is all off, at just over 90 minutes the film felt long, and we didn't get enough backstory of the main characters to get that all important emotional investment.

The plot is a little unoriginal, and if you are going to use a well-trod upon plot point, then you need to come up with some interesting twists. Unfortunately, Simulant struggles due to poor writing.

The film isn't all bad, and there are some nice moments, I liked the ending, even if it was predictable, the visual effects are good, and the cast are all likeable.

Poor pacing and some bad writing means I can only score Simulant a 6/10

Out now on digital -