To win back the confidence of the American public, the CIA creates a fully transparent reality show that goes undercover with operatives around the globe.
The set up here sees CIA operative, Thomas Devlin, played by Joe Dursley (Fast and Furious) and his side kick and camera man Seb Young (Greg Davis Jr., L.A. Noire) become drawn into their own operational experiences as the self-serving TV producers (one of whom, Sam, is played by Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) see more and more opportunities to develop outrageous storylines and shape public opinions with darker political overtones at work and thus, a deadly game is played out.
Bad guys are bad and good guys are the winners; TV plots, social media and hashtags are the order of the day.
As the dramas unfold, the separation between reality and staged events blurs. Various 'bogeymen' tropes evolve; from an opening mission and rescue of Tom from Siberia, where he has to leave his Russian girlfriend behind; to a Panama Canal mission to frustrate a Columbian/Chinese collaboration which doesn't suit US interests. The finale sees the duo tracking down a supposed Islamic jihadist (and show participant!) Ishkander, played by Saïd Taghmaouind (Three Kings) and his Chinese girlfriend Fei Song (Chasty Ballesteros, Final Destination 5) in Morocco with Tom and Seb using the Castro playbook to find devious ways to assassinate the bad guys. Can the good guys ever win back their identities and souls from the all-enveloping control of the production company; after all they've all signed contracts!
Director and writer Rob Bralver revealed that this cut of the movie is set for more post-production editing to make the story arc sharper and scene timings leaner. It's a good idea and as a work in progress this premiere shows real promise and talent.
Bralver's background is in documentaries, but he told us that his wish was to write a spy film (his influences were cited as John Le Carre and TV hit
24) but as he thought about his budget constraints, the deceit of using the reality TV wrapper gave birth to this movie.
An excellent and most promising debut and given the quality of his cast I think we should hope to see more features from Rob Bralver.