Director: Charlie McDowell

Starring: Jason Segal, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford

Year: 2017

Sometimes a film just disappoints, and sometimes that’s completely your own fault.  I had certain expectations of this movie, I should make that known now, and those expectations definitely effected my enjoyment.  I was looking for dystopia like The Lobster, but also suspense like 10 Cloverfield Lane, a strange combination of the two that would ultimately become a quirky, darkly funny, slightly horrific view of the future.  What I got was nothing even near that, but rather a romance mixed up in the afterlife, with depression and bad acting thrown in for good measure.  I was really anticipating The Discovery being one of Netflix’s best films to date, but it actually might be their worst.

Scientists have proven that, when humans die, a part of them lives on.  Call it a soul if you will, or just brainwaves, but something in us goes somewhere else when our bodies cease to work, and this Discovery will change the world.  Not exactly in the way many theorized though; instead of being viewed as this freedom-giving breakthrough, millions of people all over the world simply kill themselves.  They want to move on to what’s next, not stay here in their shitty lives, even if the future can’t exactly be mapped out.  Will, the son of the man who made the Discovery, travels to visit his father and to ask him to tell the world a lie, to tell people that it was all fabricated so that the suicides will stop.  But Will finds himself enmeshed in the theory and his father’s newest experiments, tests that might show exactly what’s on the other side and why it’s better than here.

I didn’t get what I wanted out of this film, so I’m willing to put a disclaimer on this review; you might like it more than I did if you go in with lower expectations.  It turned out to be much less a cool sci-fi flick and much more a would-you-love-me-in-another-lifetime sort of thing, which is not what I was looking for.  And, honestly, the movie did itself a disservice going in that direction.  The idea behind the plot is excellent, the actors on hand were up to the task of pulling something unique off, but, isn’t of breaking ground, The Discovery just walked over so much that we’ve already seen and that wasn’t very good the first time around.  The result was a forced story and acting that never meshed, all overshadowed by a sense that two paths diverged and we got stuck walking down the bad one.  I wish I could report something different, and, again, I’m disappointed with what I got, so perhaps there is still a chance for audiences wanting offbeat romance to enjoy this film.  But sci-fi/dystopia/mindgame fans be alerted; this isn’t what you’re looking for.

My rating: ☆ ☆