The Stream: Unrealistic depiction of a phobia resolution in an overused storyline
The Big Screen: A short runtime – less than 90 minutes!
The Final Bill: A short movie with an overused premise ends with a bang– S2S and Trip Fontaine
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writers: David Koepp
Stars: Zoë Kravitz, Rita Wilson, Derek DelGaudio, and Byron Bowers
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating: R for violence, language and brief sexuality/nudity
Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes
Production Companies: New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers
Platform: HBO Max (February 10, 2022)
It’s Valentine’s Day weekend, Streamers! Time to take your date to the movies. Or, if you’re like me, stay home and watch whatever new flick is posted on your favorite streaming service. This week the new film from Steven Soderbergh, Kimi, premiered on HBO Max. Kimi is the name of an electronic personal assistant device like Alexa except Kimi supposedly learns and corrects itself to match its user’s preferences. The film follows an agoraphobic woman, Angela (Zoe Kravitz), who reviews the data streams of the Kimis. When Angela discovers evidence of a violent crime in the course of her job, she attempts to report it to the conglomerate that created the devices and she’s met with resistance, bureaucracy and a potential threat to her life and safety. Chases on foot ensue. Here’s how what we thought of Kimi.
First, why do movies always play on this stupid phobia? There are literally thousands, if not an infinite amount, of phobias to be portrayed. Can we pick any other one?! I appreciate that Netflix show about the woman next door in the window parodying the trope of these phobias way more because of these same movies about people who are afraid to go outside that keep getting made. Next, blue hair! I mean really. *steps off of soapbox* *steps back on* No, really, why do we have to marginalize techies? Just because you like IT, Tech, computers, etc. doesn’t mean you have to be a punk, weirdo, blue-haired, recluse. There are regular people who do these things and are beautiful, normal, and go outside for more than snacks for their gaming. *steps back off of soap box*. Either way, the person in the window watching idea has been done and overdone. I won’t say this completely lacks originality, but it gets pretty close. Moreover, they make it seem pretty easy for her to go outside, which actually makes the movie a lot less believable and it only gets less authentic from there.
Yeah, Kimi is like Rear Window, Disturbia, and The Woman in the Window rolled into this post-pandemic thriller. The electronic device is the only thing that sets it apart. Kimi, itself, only gets a few moments to shine – otherwise it is mostly just a plot device. Zoe Kravitz, on the other hand, is the center of the movie and she does her best to hold it together. She’s convincingly disturbed by going outside and she does a great job fighting back. She understands the assignment and delivers in the end.
This movie probably should’ve never been made but since it was and it was free on HBO Max here we are. Other than the major glossing over of a person’s battle with a major phobia, the movie was bare bones. A nice quick little frock but made limited sense.
Trip: Kimi is a pandemic movie, if I ever saw one. It feels a bit thrown together with ideas from other movies and fragments to fill in the rest. It has its moments and has an appropriately short run time. It delivers in the end, which makes it worthwhile for a watch on HBO Max.