Starring: Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams
Director: Jennifer Phang
Running Time: 90 mins
Advantageous is an American film about a middle-aged mother who agrees to undergo an experimental body reassignment procedure in order to secure her job at a major tech firm from being taken by someone younger.
As a high-concept sci-fi that takes itself very seriously, there’s a lot more riding on films like Advantageous, and as such it can be very difficult for them to fulfil their potential. For the most part, this film really doesn’t manage to tell the eye-opening story it seems to set up, instead languishing as a slow-moving and frankly pretentious film that never strikes up much in the way of genuine intrigue.
I say that despite the fact that the film does open with a fascinating premise. Centred in a near future in which technology has come to truly dominate humanity’s lives, and where experimental body reassignment technology is in its early stages.
This is where we get into the territory of themes about what it means to be human, and the line between technology and true humanity, both absolutely riveting ideas which almost always provoke deep thought and reflection.
However, Advantageous is a film that manages to take those rather interesting ideas and turn them into a bit of a damp squib. Rather than pushing hard and getting deep to the core of those ideas, the film spends a painfully long time establishing the world in which this new technology is evolving, only leaving little time towards the end to flesh out its central premise.
And while there are moments of uncomfortable drama that begins to blur the main character’s true identity, Advantageous really struggles to captivate through its central themes, again meandering towards its conclusion with little in the way of genuinely thought-provoking drama.
While the film certainly deserves a bit of praise for taking itself seriously, it ultimately ends up in a similar boat to the likes of Possessor, lacking the true depth and bravery to get to the crux of its central themes, meaning that it ultimately feels like a bit of a half-hearted perspective on a truly fascinating view of the future. So, that’s why I’m giving Advantageous a 5.2 overall.