Kincaid is like the Mike Bloomberg of gaming companies. An ardent gun control
supporter, he coins the slogan: “keep guns in games.” He is also determined to
keep his company’s technology out of the hands of the military. Of course, it
is all for the sake of preventing obstacles to his megalomaniacal quest for
power. Unfortunately, his toughest critic will literally find himself playing
the villain in Kincaid latest video game. The game’s repercussions on real life
will also come as a nasty shock to the first test player in Nicholas Gyeney’s Beta Test (trailer here), which opens
tomorrow in New Jersey.
Troy has not left his house for the last two years. He obviously has issues,
but also made bank testing and sometimes modifying Kincaid’s releases. The
newest first-person shooter seems unusually real, because it is. Thanks to a
chip implant, former Sentinel executive and all-around hardnose Orson Creed
will helplessly embark on a Grand Theft
Auto style crime spree, with Troy at the controls. However, Troy puts two
and two together quicker than most movie characters, forcing Kincaid to
dispatch a team of colorful henchmen to keep Troy playing the game at gunpoint.
Unfortunately, the in-game premise—the abduction of Creed’s wife Abbie, who
also happens to be Kincaid’s ex—is similarly all too true.
and co-screenwriter Andre Kirkman are startlingly gutsy when they reveal
Kincaid has forced a patsy to commit a Columbine-style school shooting to
advance his agenda. However, they apparently felt the need to water-down the
film’s Second Amendment implications with some clichéd rhetoric castigating
Kincaid as a one percenter. It just sounds unnatural coming out of Creed’s
least Creed can fight. Creed is the first lead role in a film for Manu Bennett,
best known as Crixus in Spartacus. He
certainly has the physical presence and his weird growling voice is actually
quite effective. Executive producer Kevon Stover, Edward Michael Scott, and
Yuji Okumoto (from Karate Kid II and Awesome Asian Bad Guys) add energy and
villainous verve as Kincaid’s hit squad. Linden Ashby is suitably slippery and
slimy as the evil gaming tycoon, but unfortunately, Larenz Tate is rather bland
and lightweight as the house-bound Troy.
In all honesty, Beta Test often looks like a B-movie in problematic ways. However,
there are some impressively brutal fight scenes and it is almost hypnotically
compelling to watch the bearded-up and bespectacled Bennett do his thing.
Recommended as a guilty pleasure with some degree of implied support for
personal liberties, Beta Test opens
tomorrow (7/22) at the AMC Loews Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth.
Labels: Action films, Manu Bennett, Yuji Okumoto