Pass Thru (2016)
Film review #385
Director: Neil Breen
SYNOPSIS: …I don’t know. An artificial intelligence travels to the present to help guide humanity, who have lost their way with war, crime and corruption. The A.I. takes the body of a drug addict and befriends two migrant children who have escaped smugglers after they cross the U.S. border while it carries out it’s work.
THOUGHTS/ANALYSIS: Pass Thru is a 2016 film. The film is written, directed by and stars Neil Breen, who has a track record for making many of these films single-handed. The film starts off showing some people smugglers getting some people across the U.S. border, and essentially imprisoning them. Meanwhile, a drug addict who helped them is given his payment in the form of drugs and passes out (or dies, I don’t know). Then an A.I. from a thousand years in the future turns up and takes his form…or possesses him? Nothing is really explained here. The A.I. says in one of its many, many monologues that humanity has lost its way through war, corruption and such, and in order to get it back on track he plans to kill about three hundred million people. That’s it. He befriends two of the smuggled migrants who managed to escape, who is converses with in between monologues and visiting corrupt bankers, lawyers and politicians before making them disappear. Oh and there’s a sub-plot with some kids and a professor watching outer space for anomalies or something. This film has little to no coherence or substance, and it obviously focuses on Breen professing his morality. Corruption, war and crime are bad: we already know this, and the film doesn’t really offer any solutions or interesting takes on it, instead just opting to make bad people disappear without showing any real consequence. The mix of monologues and dialogue scenes don’t come together, and all of the other characters don’t really make any contribution, lest they distract from Breen’s holy vision.
The A.I. is revealed to be called “Thgil”, which is obviously “light” backwards, and the film makes a major fuss over it, like it’s a creative revelation or something. Breen’s films always have him in the starring role as a very, very, very, very (very) thinly-veiled Christ figure whose mission is to unveil the corruption and evil in the world and fix it. I can’t help but feel this guy has a complex of some sort. As mentioned, it’s not exactly a revelation that the rich and powerful are corrupt, and war is bad, so I don’t see how this film is going to convert anyone to whatever Breen is trying to sell (kill three hundred million people? I don’t know).
So apart from the story being non-existent, the acting is all awful, and delivered so flatly and without life you can never be immersed in the film because every little gesture and speech sounds forced. The special effects could be done by anyone with a greenscreen and Photoshop, and the most ridiculous effect is the tiger that randomly appears throughout the film for no reason, especially when Breen tries to interact with it. There is also an obsession with drone shots with the film, since Breen clearly just bought one and wanted to fill the film with shots from it. The film might as well be about Breen buying a drone. Overall, Pass Thru is a one-man operation that tries to preach a message you already know. as a film the story is non-existent, the dialogue is forced, the acting is awful and the effects aren’t good enough to be described as amateur. It really does have to be seen to be believed, and might be worth a watch for a laugh if it doesn’t bore you to sleep first.