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Entry updated 9 February 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (2009). Summit Entertainment in association with Icon Productions presents an Infinity Features Entertainment production. Directed by Paul McGuigan. Written by David Bourla. Cast includes Camilla Belle, Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Joel Gretsch and Djimon Hounsou. 111 minutes. Colour.

A motley group of fugitive psychics in Hong Kong devise an elaborate plan to bring down the US covert operations division which has been forcibly harnessing the mutants' Psi Powers.

This dense, ambitious attempt at creating a plausibly complex Superhero mythos in a self-contained film has some similarities to the coeval television series Heroes (2006-2010), but with a more focused restriction to a specific palette of psionic abilities and a necessarily denser, more teleologized plot. The elaborate mythology itemizes twenty-three different categories of Wild Talent; the lead characters are a Telekinetic Mover (Evans), a Precognitive Watcher (Fanning), and a super-enhanced Pusher (Belle) with the ability to implant false memories and suggestions in a subject's mind (see Memory Edit). Together they hatch an ingeniously convoluted intrigue to outmanoeuvre their pursuers' mindreading and precognitive talents by breaking down the plan into seven modules to be carried out by different members of the team, writing each's orders in a sealed envelope with opening instructions, and then erasing the original memory of the plan. An agreeable if somewhat exhausting series of twists ensue, to which the film's title gives some clue, and the adventurous location setting is impressively used. The ending leaves open the possibility of further stories in the same universe, with or without the original characters, and a television series was duly put into development under X-Men (2000) (see X-Men Films) and Watchmen (2009) screenwriter David Hayter; this appears to have stalled. [NL]


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