Sunday, July 10, 2016
DIRECTOR: Aaron Kaufman
A group of friends decides to leave the big city and head to an island for a weekend getaway. Once the friends arrive at the island, they hit up an exclusive club and are introduced to a new designer drug called Urge. The mysterious nightclub owner and staff inform them that this latest drug can only be taken once, ever. After consuming the drug once, the friends decide to continue taking the drug which causes them and everyone on the island to descend into anarchy.
Watching Urge for the first time, I got a real sense that this movie felt very similar to another drug-fuelled movie titled Limitless. Both films deal with the consequences of taking a dangerous drug that turns out to have deadly side effects and repercussions for those who consume it. The most significant difference comes down to where both of these movies decide to take those consequences. Urge turns out to be Limitless's darker and far bloodier cousin. This, however, does not make Urge the better movie.
Looking at all the critic and audience reviews for Urge so far, the overall consensus hasn't been very positive at all. The movie currently sits with an abysmal 0% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. While the movie has a lot of problems. I don't think it warrants such a low rating. The movie is far from perfect but I think it has a couple of elements that made me stick with it not once but I've now seen the film twice. If you can look past all the faults, I think it will be a pretty mean-spirited ride for genre fans.
I'll start with the issues that I had with the film. The most significant problem with the film is that there is not one likeable character in the movie. Every single one of these characters is one that I despised. The entire movie is based on greed and murder. We have not one single person that we can root for or relate to here. Every single person is dislikable and cold. We have a bunch of self-indulged rich kids who don't care about anyone or anything. While I loved this approach in movies like The Rules Of Attraction or Less Than Zero, here it felt like a negative.
Once the ending scene on the boat rolls around. I think it will be the point that makes or breaks the film. I have my own interpretations of who Pierce Brosnan represents in the film, and while I think the idea is neat, I personally found that the execution isn't great. Everything leading up to it just didn't make all that much sense once the boat scene arrives. Either I missed references along the way, or the writers simply haven't crafted a coherent story that ties up any of the questions I had with the film.
Urge also adds an interesting after credits sequence that feels completely different to the rest of this thriller. When there is no more room in hell for drug takers, they will walk the Earth it seems. I chose to not add a label for zombies in this review as the ending has the brilliant Alison Lohman as a mother who witnesses the start of what appears to be the zombie apocalypse. While the rest of the movie hints at a collapse of society due to the drug Urge. This scene just feels utterly bizarre, but I couldn't help but enjoy it. An intriguing setup if a sequel ever happens.
Visually, I think Urge looked great. Minus a few shoddy visuals towards the end with the scenes of the impending apocalypse. The rest of the movie looks well made and slick. From the S&M heavy opening credits scene to the drug-fuelled nightclub scenes and the eventual spiralling out of control and widespread violence, I think a lot of the movie looked rather impressive for the most part. I'd really like to see what director Aaron Kaufman does next.
I found the acting quite decent. Pierce Brosnan is the biggest name on the bill, but his scenes are minimal. I think his scenes are to chew the scenery with his villainous role and he appears to eat up the role. Justin Chatwin is a very talented actor and plays a pretty significant role in the film. I can't fault his performance. Both Alexis Knapp and Ashley Greene add some excellent turns here, and the usually funny Danny Masterson plays the nastiest, dislikable character in the film. He plays a sleazebag really well. It works for him.
Lastly, another element of Urge that I quite enjoyed was the violence in the movie. I was not expecting the movie to be overly violent, but this film has a few scenes that even felt brutal and mean-spirited to a gorehound like myself. [SPOILERS] We have Ashley Greene who you think will survive the entire film who goes out in one of the most shocking scenes in the film. Her character is stoned to death on a beach, and it's a bloody and cruel scene. I was shocked that they didn't shy away. So for that, Aaron Kaufman deserves a round of applause.
DEATH TOLL: 5
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Men and women are seen beating each other up.
- A woman's head is smashed into a mirror.
- Someone is burnt with a lamp.
- A woman is choked to death.
- Someone is hit by a garbage truck.
- A lady is stabbed in the face repeatedly with needles.
- A guy drops a weight bar on his head, and it explodes.
- Nails in the face.
- Cop shot in the face.
- A woman is stoned to death.
- A guy stabs himself in the neck with a kitchen knife.
Urge is a movie that people will either love or hate. I think more will hate this due to the fact of how wildly weird and uneven the film is in tone. I felt that Urge was middle ground for me. This film falls just short. I was left with questions, even more so after the post-credits scene. The movie also features the most dislikable group of humans I think I've seen in quite some time. The positives of Urge rest on its gore, carnage and acting. I think a once off watch is all you need for this movie unless you're a glutton for punishment like myself and watch it twice.