April 23, 2015 The Protokon (Movie Review)
Writer/director Anthony De Lioncourt debuts his latest Sci-fi Thriller film The Protokon on Long Island in New York at Eternal Con on Sunday June 14 2015 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. The Protokon has been submitted to several film festivals including Soho Film Fest, The New York City Horror, and the Long Beach International Film Festivals, with the results still pending. Filmed in New York, United States, Lioncourt used a retro style of filming borrowing heavily from the 1980’s with both camera style and special effects. Taking place in the early 1980s, The Protokon tells the story of James Tian, played by newcomer Mark Mattson, and encompasses a period of several years. Initially James is a happily engaged man to vivacious Dawn (Samantha Strelitz: Any Day Now 2011, Plurality 2012), who encourages him to spend more time together outdoors. One such day James and Dawn go on a picnic.
The couple’s outing takes a violent and unexpected turn that changes the course of James’ life forever. Forced by a group of psychotic bikers to watch Dawn suffer and die, James is left devastated and turns into a dark man hell bent on revenge. He is introduced to a man named Miles who trains him to use weapons and fight, which readies him for what is to come. James rarely speaks to anyone, but this doesn’t stop Miles from seeing James’ pain and worries it will consume him. Nothing deters James until somewhere along his road of vengeance, he meets a man named Nathan (Eugene Lin: The Last of us Fan Film 2013, Paradise River 2013), who introduces James to Elijah Mann, played by veteran actor/ Calvin Klein model Jaiden Kaine (Dead Souls 2012, Taken by Grace 2013). Mann is the head of a covert organization called The Order of the Circle. The organization comes to the world’s attention in a flurry of terror during a global takeover.
Elijah and Nathan have created a program that combines science and black magic to create the perfect solider to fight for his army and eradicate human kind. They believe human kind have become a despicable race. James is the perfect candidate for the program, and is transformed into Project Midnight. He goes about the organizations plan for some time; the human race almost completely gone, but something in him changes and he wants to remember his past. This is when things twist and turn. Elijah and Nathan soon find that they get more than they bargained for and must protect themselves from their own creation. Midnight finds a new purpose to his existence and works on changing his and the world’s fate, but at what cost? When the truth comes out will James be strong enough to do what he must do?
Quite a lot of the story is flashback and backstory, and when each of the characters is discovered in depth, their motivations become clear scene by scene. Special effects are minimal in keeping with the era and violent scenes are stylised and exaggerated. The cinematography by Lioncourt uses plenty of smoke, and fuzzy camera views which surround the surreal internal dialogue and memories, creating an out of worldly appearance. The past is dealt with via flashback/internal memory and there are multiple points of view. Some viewers may find they are bought back to their teenage years watching shows like Battlestar Gallatica, Buck Rogers, or even Logan’s Run.
There are some scenes in The Protokon which seem overly slow and prolonged, which can be frustrating for the viewer. A very unusual approach to modern day movie making, Lioncourt has gone out on a limb on a limited budget believed to be as low as ten thousand dollars. This movie will not be to everyone’s taste but is well worth the time, especially for those compelled by ’80s style films. With an open-ending, there is room for a sequel, so it will be interesting to see what Lioncourt comes up with next. CrypticRock gives The Protokon 4 out of 5.