KIMI Movie Review, Trailer, Cast and Watch Online: Zoë Kravitz Uncovers a Mystery in Steven Soderbergh’s Brisk, Familiar Thriller
While practically every other filmmaker is pretending that the pandemic never happened, setting their films either before or after the plague nobody talks about it, Steven Soderbergh is mining there. Are, shall we say, the unique circumstances of the last few years for Hitchcockian thrill in “KIMI”.
It is a low-budget, high-concept thriller that is refreshingly contemporary on the surface, even though it is fairly traditional at its core.
Zoë Kravitz stars as Angela Childs, who works for a tech company that sells Alexa-like devices called “KIMI”. It works in basically the same way as all the actual voice-activated technology you’d use, whenever it fails to understand the voice command, a real human listens to the recording to determine what’s at fault. Where did it happen, and correct Kimi’s programming to prevent the future.
And if this actually sounds like a terrible idea, if only because it’s more of an invasion of privacy than usual (which is already a lot), “Kimi” agrees with you. The plot begins when Angela, who is responsible for fixing that code, commits what appears to be a violent crime. After some audio scrubbing and completely legal digital digging, he’s convinced it’s up to his bosses at the Amygdala Corporation to do the right thing and provide all this evidence to the authorities, and certainly not involved in a deadly corporate cover-up. Has to be-up who targets Angela.
Yeah, that last part would definitely be bad. Of course that is exactly what happens. Making matters worse, Angela is agoraphobic and refuses to leave her apartment, a situation that has recently been exacerbated by the COVID lockdown, which severely limits her options and leaves her in a rut. Goes to the Home Office to file a report about the rest as the orbital spacewalk. Helmet.
The screenplay by David Koep (“You Should Have Left”) is a heartwarming fusion of classic and non-classic thrillers, with a bit of “Rear Window” to “Hackers” and more. “Blow Up,” “Blow Out,” and “The Conversation.” Angela also has a toothache, just in case you were concerned Koep hadn’t seen “Marathon Man” recently.
But all of these clockwork pieces fit together reasonably well, except for the misaligned main cog. The whole plot revolves around the fact that KIMI is easily hackable and not secure at all, and yet the main plot point is that someone knew all this and still collected and stored all the evidence on KIMI. Did it It doesn’t just increase credibility; It breaks it. (Ignore the imagination that uncovering all this wrongdoing will have meaningful consequences for wealthy criminals, resolving to tell a familiar story that seems less plausible with each passing year.)
Fortunately, the rest of the “KIMI” has credibility out of the gills, and it mostly makes up for any wrong move. Using the pandemic as an emergent source of anxiety in a paranoic thriller adds laurels to the film. A clever set piece in a police protest is both timely and unexpectedly forceful. Perhaps best of all and certainly scariest, “KIMI” repeatedly explodes into the online security theater we often take for granted, reminding us that Angela — like everyone else at home is watching — has already volunteered. We have waived our rights to privacy, and no tech company worth it would be affected by the salt of our laptop passwords. They already have. and our personal records. And maybe our retinal scans.
Perhaps the worst that can be said about “KIMI” is that it is a formula thriller, with few (if any) surprises for the film’s target audience of thriller enthusiasts. But Soderbergh and Koep try and mostly succeed in making this old-fashioned potboiler feel modern and relevant. Zoë Kravitz carries the entire film on capable shoulders, and the swift 89-minute run time prevents any part of “KIMI” from spoiling its reception.
It’s a movie breakfast, a not so filling meal, and that’s okay. There is a lot of energy in this film; More than enough to get you through your afternoon.
“KIMI” premieres on HBO Max.
Source: William Bibbiani, The Wrap, Direct News 99