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The Tangle (2021)

Written, directed by, and starring Christopher Soren Kelly, The Tangle brings its audience into a futuristic world controlled by AI where people spend their time jacked into a Matrix like reality known as The Tangle. Information is widely available just by thinking it or asking aloud, and acts of violence are impossible to commit.

The Tangle is overseen by the A.S.P. (Army of Simply Purity), a secret government agency who watch from within technology safe rooms, locations impermeable to the nanobots that make up the Tangle. Swarms of microdrones fill the air, the water, our very blood. In this world, it is impossible to keep a secret anywhere but in your S.O.L. (Secure OnTangle Line), a quantum encrypted hard drive implanted in your brain.

When Margot Foster (Mary Jane Wells) an A.S.P. agent turns up dead (via having her head caved in) in a locked safe room, her fellow agents, husband and wife, Edward Banderas and Laurel Arrow (Christopher Soren Kelly and Jessica Graham) must find out how and why the first murder in years was committed right under their noses.

Edward and Laurel’s main suspect is Carter Carmine (Joshua Bitton), a private detective, who used to work with the agents of A.S.P. on a program called the Cleopatra Squad. Cleopatra created the Tangle. Via their questioning of Carter, Edward and Laurel learn that he was following Margot and is definitely hiding something. Through further “questioning” it is discovered Carter, Margot, Edward and Laurel all had a hand in designing The Tangle. Soon, as time runs out, Francesca (Nicole da Silva), is called in to “speed up” Cater’s co-operation with the investigation. Soon though everyone could be a suspect as secrets are revealed and worlds unravel!

Despite its science fiction appearance, The Tangle has a classic film noir heart that becomes more obvious as the film develops. Both the dialogue and wardrobe help deliver a classic 1940’s look that fits with the futuristic world Christopher Soren Kelly has created. These leaves The Tangle more reminiscent of Rian Johnson’s 2005 movie Brick than of The Matrix or Blade Runner.

Whilst the strongly delivered exposition may bore some viewers, the claustrophobicness of the set sure helps the audience feel the desperateness of the situation and the emotions of all involved. The use of silence is also vital in creating a great awkwardness between the characters that in turn adds a greater depth to the situations they are presented with.

Verdict: 7/10. Whilst exposition heavy, the film does not suffer for it. Mainly due to the amazing cast who more than carry their own parts of the narrative and provide the audience with the air of mystery a film like this needs. To get the most of The Tangle you do need to give it your full attention though or you may miss important information!

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