WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.
I’m going to be honest, this is probably going to be less of a review and more of a commentary about the film The Circle. Now when I first saw the trailer for this film, I was seriously looking forward to crapping all over this film. First, you have one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood, Emma Watson in the lead so I knew this film wasn’t going to have anything emotionally gripping and their story didn’t look too interesting either. This was likely something that STX Entertainment threw out there trying to make a quick buck before Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 comes out. I watched the film and spoiler alert…I didn’t like it, but when I read the reviews, what didn’t surprise is that people hated the film by why they hated it. Apparently, the Consensus is that the premise and execution of this movie are ridiculous because people would never be stupid enough to surrender their privacy to make this film in anyway believable….really?
Now if you take this movie at face value, yes. The idea that someone would agree to have a corporation monitor and record every aspect of their life down to recording every step they take and keeping their live vital information is absurd. But the people who believe that there is no way people would ever be stupid enough to do this in real life are the same ones asking their Amazon Echo how to use Facebook Live to Livestream themselves with their Steve Jobs Phone that they camped out for 3 weeks to get. The Program in the film named SeeChange is a small camera that can be used to monitor people and follow them in real-time whether they know it or not. All of the information collected from these devices is taken by a corporation to use at their will while the citizens use their version of social media to connect and compete with one another.
I believe this film is closer to reality than people would like to admit. I mean all the ideas that are presented in this film as crazy invasions of privacy have already been proposed in real life. We have seen what happens when Silicon Valley cozies with Washington D.C. and debate how their platforms can be to the benefits of the people…or to the benefit of Government when we are talking about the Zuckerbergs and Pages of the world. The Circle magnifies the reality of government overreach working with Mega Corporations to control the everyday life of citizens and how we blindly allow it to happen. As much as some people might see this as a condescending look at Millennials in 2017, are the extremes that much different from reality? The truth is, If President Trump or before him, President Obama made a case that people should be required to vote using a certain technology they told them was for the benefit of people, you would have at least 60 Million that will convince themselves after watching hours of Fox News or MSNBC that this is a good idea that needs to be implemented across the country.
Have we seen this movie before? Yes, many times over. Have we learned that lesson? That’s debatable. The ending of this film is melodramatic and pretty ridiculous. The Circle or as I’m going to call them…Google Plus…decides to create a citizen task force to hunt down criminals in real time and even normal citizens. They hunt the main character’s friend and drive him off a bridge to his death. This, of course, is silly and forced as this company would have been shut down faster than you can say ‘Why is Patton Oswalt even in the movie?” but again, extremely satire reality is the theme here. The worse thing about this film honestly is this is the last film performance of Bill Paxton and we see him as a nearly crippled man struggling with MS, not the way we would like to remember him.
At the end of the day, The Circle misses the mark of being a good film with a name cast that I am not very impressed with outside of John Boyega and Karen Gillan who the film just forgets are even in the film after about 30 minutes. I’ve seen much better movies on this topic, but if you think this film isn’t realistic in the era of Instagram, Snapchat, Alexa, and WorldStarHipHop…you may want to take a closer look at current events…it may scare the crap out of you.
OFFICIAL RATING: *