A goofy, low-budget cyberpunk thriller that may have been great, if its execution were as novel as its ideas. Still, I had fun with what's here. Jodie Foster gives one of her more memorable performances of late, and Bautista, Goldblum, Jenny Slate and Sterling K. Brown all do good work too.
This has a great cast, and solid premise. The tone was strange, and I'm still not sure that strangeness worked for me. It seemed like it was always ready to fall on a subtle comical approach to characters and dialogues. Two movies came to mind. Bilal's "Bunker Palace Hôtel", and at times it even seemed like a (completely) lose variation of it. And Atomic Blond, because of an eccentric character that seemed the same.
Were it not for a decent cast (especially Foster) & a fairly solid and future dystopian atmosphere, this would have completely failed. Cliché characters make up the numbers, while riots & the state of the world, within LA, nevermind beyond, remain unexplained. There is also little characterisation within the plot & those we are supposedly rooting for are essentially criminals. Lazy storytelling, & popcorn fodder.
The filmmakers may have made one of the quintessential Los Angeles films: toying with every mythology, large or small, manufactured or no (everything from the riots of Watts and King to celebrity to water crises to crime barons to city architecture) in such a fun, energetic manner I hardly suffered its flaws. It ends up reconciling the existential myth of LA, in its own bombastic way. Jodie Foster is a force, here.
Drew Pearce - a first time director with a dream cast, budget, and locations - wrote Iron Man 3 and Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation which is to say a talented but bland filmmaker. This a movie loaded with influences but no voice. You've seen a shade of every single character, motivation, and dynamic in other better films. It's well made and has a phenomenal cast that can elevate almost anything but it still sinks.