Leave it to activists to ruin the male fantasy.
Ever since the 1960s, “activists” have been portrayed as the heroes in films because everyone wants to believe that if they were alive here in the 1960s that they would have been marching in Selma for civil rights. Because these people were born during the year Limp Bizkit and Britney Spears were popular, they didn’t get to grow up and be the activists that they imagine in their mind, so they’re forced to pretend to be activists on social media as a means of being important.
What does all this have to do with the film “Wifelike”? In the year 2022, nobody is allowed to enjoy fantasy because someone else may not approve.
“Wifelike” takes place in a world where artificial humans named “companions” are available to serve the needs of their owners. Meredith (Elena Kampouris) is assigned to be the companion to grieving widower William (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and she is designed to behave like his late wife. William works for the company that creates and houses companions and it is working to stop a terrorist organization that is seeking to shut down the program. An underground group of activists is fighting to end AI exploitation and they are starting Meredith as a means to sabotage her programming. William must find the leader of their operations before they unlock secrets about the organization he does not want to be exposed to.
The star of this film is Elena Kampouris who nails the physical and vocal performance of an artificial human to a tee. Kampouris’s strong presence and sexy body will give this film more looks than it deserves in all honesty. The premise of this film plays much like a 1980s exploitation film that could have been a cult classic if it was made in a different era, sadly in modern times, the elements in the storytelling that would have made this movie are now frowned upon by progressive movie standards.
The film has a number of shortcomings outside of its lead actress. Jonathan Rhys Meyers makes for a solid villain but he is far too old to make the plot and circumstance believable. Acting-wise, the movie doesn’t get any better from here. Doron Bell is a terrible actor and his scenes are improv class bad. Former WWE star C.J. Perry has a cameo role in the film and her acting here isn’t any better than it was in pro wrestling.
The “A.I. rights” group of the film are propped up to be the heroes despite the fact they are occupying Wall Street burnouts but of course, in a movie of this magnitude, the villain is always an evil corporation that wants to be evil because of reasons. A film like this takes itself too seriously to take you into the fantasy element of the story meaning it lacks the fun factor that will inspire audiences to give this movie a second look when the credits roll.
“Wifelike” has a lot of loving ladies to distract you from the fact that the film drops the ball on the sci-fi element of the story making it a missed opportunity even on a small budget.