In all parallel universes, Judge Patrick Bromley is still disappointed with this movie.
She will save the world from its future.
Every so often, I'm tasked with an unfortunate assignment at DVD Verdict. I have to say negative things about a small, independent movie that a lot of people worked really hard on and which depends upon good reviews (like this one won't be) and positive word of mouth to develop an audience. The fault is my own, of course—I requested to review the title and I'm the one who has problems with the movie—but it can be challenging to kick a movie when it's already down. Ultimately, though, my responsibility is not to the filmmakers of the titles I review but to you, the readers, who want to know if a movie like Triple Hit is worth your time or money. I can't say that it is.
The story of Triple Hit concerns a brilliant scientist named Rebecca Hunter (Abigail Tarttelin, The Butterfly Tattoo) who is cast out of the scientific community for her research on parallel universes. It turns out she's onto something, though, because there are two other versions of Rebecca in two parallel universes: Sarah, a professor in a utopian society and Anastasia, the science director in a totalitarian dystopia called The People's Republic of Great Britain. The different universes begin to overlap, and Rebecca comes face to face with the alternate versions of her. Can she restore balance and correct the gap before the multiverse threatens to destroy itself?
So, first the positive: Triple Hit (originally titles Schrodinger's Girl, which is considerably less commercial; the filmmakers have acknowledged as much) represents an honest attempt at doing some hard science fiction, and that's a rarity in movies today. Though there are obvious limitations to the budget (it's an independent British production, and the special effects often resemble Doctor Who at some of its worst moments), there is an attempt at scale and scope that has to be commended. Yes, many of the visual effects were obviously created on someone's laptop, but as long as you're able to suspend your disbelief (and you'll need to for a film about three parallel universes), you'll be able to appreciate the world(s) that writer/director Huw Bowen has tried to create.
Those are just about the only things about Tripe Hit that work very well, though, because the rest of the movie is kind of a mess. Star Abigail Tarttelin's performance is chief among the problems: it's bland and amateurish and largely unconvincing, compounded further by the fact that she's asked to play three characters when she's unable to pull off even one. The structure of the film is frustrating as well, as it bounces around from universe to universe (often courtesy of familiar "wipe" edits, because of Star Wars) even from the start. I couldn't help but think the film would be more powerful if it waited to reveal its "multiverse," allowing us to discover what is happening alongside Rebecca. Instead, we get thrown right in to three different, concurrent plots, none of which seem very interested in providing characters or stories. Their only goal is that they be distinct from one another, so we get the bright white utopia, the cloudy, rubble-strew dystopia and the world that closely represents our own. When the universes begin to overlap and Rebecca encounters the other versions of herself, the movie picks up a little steam; unfortunately, it's around then that it also loses interest in some of its sci-fi ideas.
The movie arrives on DVD courtesy of Cinema Epoch. It's presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and looks only ok at best. Because it's low budget and appears to have been shot on video, I'm willing to cut the softness and drab look of the movie a good deal of slack. The disc audio is more problematic, with a hollow, tinny-sounding stereo track with dialogue that's hard to hear and music levels that are way too loud. I found myself constantly having to adjust the volume throughout the movie, and it was a frustrating experience. The only extras included on the disc are the film's trailer and a still gallery of images from the movie, set to some music that does not fit the tone of what is being shown.
I don't want to pick on a movie that a whole lot of people worked really hard on. It's too dismissive and it's the kind of thing that gives criticism a bad name. The movie is small but thinks big, and that should be appreciated. I can't say that I enjoyed it, though, or that it achieves the goals it sets out for itself. To give it a pass out of kindness would be just as unfair as blasting it just for existing, so I'm not going to do that, either. Triple Hit isn't very good, even though it wants to be. But, then, so does every movie. Except Transformers.
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
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