Reviews: Painkillers

tahmoh penikett
Mr. Lambert sits through the Tahmoh Penikett vehicle, Painkillers

Man, I miss the days of BSG. 
What the hell can I say off the top about this movie?  Well, I had to give it 2 good watches to verify I understood the subtle (broken) plot queues that move the story along.Painkillers is a nice looking sci-fi film, with plenty of twists and turns.  That is pretty much my wheelhouse so when I was asked to view this screener I was excited to dive in. 

Action?  This movie has got it.  Excitement?  Meh…..  Frankly, I found myself nodding off in the meat of Painkiller’s 102 minute running time.  There is no doubt in my mind that there was a lot of work put into the action sequences in Painkillers.  Tahmoh Penikett, Lesley-Ann Brandt, & Erica Durance all look great in the heat of battle and those were the strongest aspects of Painkillers.

Let’s talk about the “sci-fi” part of Painkillers.  The reason I love the genre so much is I almost always walk away from a great sci-fi film carrying a new idea presented by its story.  Did Painkillers present an idea?  Oh yeah!  Was it an interesting idea?  Not really.  Plus, how the “discovery” in this film was presented just pissed me off. Painkillers did create a feeling of paranoia that I particularly enjoyed whether or not we've seen it countless times before in movies of this caliber.  The whole thing is a ruse for something else.  As expected, we cannot trust anyone, especially the corporations.

“Oh hey!  Look at these walls!  They look different!  Oh wow, there is some writing on them.  I bet if we touch them they will do something.  Oh wow!  Look at that!”. I found myself rolling my eyes through that sequence.

I guess in the end I just expected a lot more detail.  That's what makes a sci-fi film really great, those nerdy details that all intertwine into the story and all make sense when you make an attempt to understand it.  The ideas presented in Painkillers are good, but I guess I just wanted to know more about this “power source”.  We saw it.  It was talked about, but that was all I really got.  However, the ending of Painkillers sets us right up for a sequel and maybe we will learn more about it in the future.  Regardless of my criticism of Painkillers, I will be looking forward to that.

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-Scott Lambert