Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff, Monique Cynthia Brown
Plot: Two estranged college friends reunite in later life, triggering a series of events that could alter their lives forever.
Runtime: 1 Hour
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Largely Forgettable
Story: Striking Vipers starts as two former college friends Danny (Mackie) and Karl (Abdul-Mateen II) reunite at Danny’s birthday, even though they have gone in different directions, Danny is married with a family, while Karl is a womaniser. Karl buys Danny a birthday present called Striking Vipers which is a virtual reality game.
The game takes Danny and Karl into avatars of their favourite characters, where they can actually fight and experience other feelings that can be replicated from real life.
Thoughts on Striking Vipers
Characters – Danny is a happily married man who is looking to have his second child with his wife, he has grown up a lot since his wild college years which saw him party a lot, with this new game, he starts to see life differently starting to question his own views on life, which could start to put a strain on his marriage. Karl is the old best friend of Danny from college, he has become distant from Danny, only to return with a new game which could change their lives, he is still acting like he is in college despite the fact they are reaching 40, he is often seen as the bad influence on Danny. Theo is the wife of Danny, she starts to notice the change in him, which sees her wanting to connect with her husband once again before losing the marriage.
Performances – Anthony Mackie is great in the leading role without struggle to balance his characters emotional dilemma through the film. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II continues to show he has continued to impress in the last year as an actor fast becoming a name to watch for years to come. Nicole Beharie shows us how to make a supporting character make an impact as we see how she bring us the wife that is losing it.
Story – The story here follows two former college friends whose lives change when they start using a virtual reality video game, it reaches dangerous levels of obsession and offers up the questions of sexually desires. For the calibre of storytelling we are used to seeing from a Black Mirror story, we look at the reluctant behaviour in relationships and how people can become overly reliant on certain ways of finding love. The way this story flows does feel off for the most part leaving us like a moment of impact in missing.
Sci-Fi – For the sci-fi elements used within this film, we get to see just how the world of virtual reality can be used to achieve things you can’t do in real life and shows us that not everybody will turn to needing to find help from this source.
Settings – The settings in the film come from the idea that everyday life can need refreshing at times.
Special Effects – The effects come from being inside the virtual reality world, which does show how they movements could be real, which is beautiful to see.
Scene of the Movie – The first entry to the virtual world.
Final Thoughts – This does just about become a forgettable story, it does want to examine real issues only to just pull out from them follow through.
Overall: Disappointing addition to the black mirror.