A movie about a group of people who don’t fit into society and who just discovered their new superpowers. Superpowers which they can use to control and influence others after extensive training.
Does this sound vaguely (or maybe not so vaguely) familiar to you? It’s no surprise as this storyline is present in big franchises such as The Kingsmen, Matrix and X-Men. Now, co-writer/director Martin Grof (“Excursion”) uses it for his latest movie, “Sensation”. While this film certainly lacks originality and feels restless during many moments, it still beautifully made with a limited budget.
Meet Andrew (Eugene Simon), a postman who’s discovering his family history but not in the way he thought. Instead of getting to know his long lost family members, he finds out that he has hidden superhuman powers. After being convinced by Dr Daniel Marinus (Alastair G. Cumming), he checks in into a top-secret research facility run by Nadia (Emily Wyatt), a.k.a the female Charles Xavier.
While meeting people with the same abilities, he discovers that he can control the mind of others and extract information based on their senses. This means he has to deal with strange situations that have a negative impact on his mental state. This leads to him struggling with his powers, his stay at the facility and his life in general. Will he be able to get his thoughts in order, or will his mind spiral out of control completely?
“Sensation” isn’t the most original movie because writers Grof and Magdalena Drahovsk (“Excursion”, “Smoke Screen”) go back to the basics we saw way too much. The filmmakers added their twists to this recycled story, but sadly, they added too many without explaining each of them. When this movie reaches its potential climax, the plot raises more questions than it answers. There’s nothing wrong with leaving the plot open for interpretation, but it can’t be this open.
Instead of creating many twists, it would have been much better if the filmmakers spend more time building strong characters because the ones in “Sensation” lack a developed background story. That being said, lead Simon (“Game of Thrones”, “Kill Ben Lyk”) stands his ground in this movie by giving a solid performance. He starts on the wrong foot, but he fast redeems himself with excellent acting.
His support cast doesn’t reach that same level. However, we’re still trying to figure out whether it’s because of their acting or because of the uncomplete characters. Wyatt (“Sacrilege”, “Hurricane”) portrays Nadia in a frigid and unhinged way, and Martin (“Behind the Line: Escape to Dunkirk”, “Thumb of Maui”) isn’t able to show her full potential as May. Cumming (“Crash Test Aglaé”, “Welcome to the Punch”) his performance is clearly over the top. However, during multiple moments, it’s amusing to watch, which makes us wonder what this movie could have been if it was just thought out a bit better.
The plot and the characters have multiple flaws but the cinematography by Jamie Burr (“The Rizen”, “It Never Sleeps”) and Goff is on point. This movie was made with a smaller budget, but the great visuals of “Sensation” indeed reach the blockbuster level. If you add the dramatic, bombastic, but very fitting score to this, you get a tremendous audio-visual spectacle.
“Sensation” is Grof second full-length feature film, so we understand that he’s still looking for his identity as a filmmaker. While he could have simplified the storyline or created better character development, his stunning cinematography and the grandiose score keep “Sensation” afloat.
“Sensation” is now available in the U.K. via digital download.