I find a lot of movies want to tell a story with style, but sometimes it’s style over substance. Arguably, it’s the case here except I’m willing to accept that the intention might have been to indicate there’s nothing to the story because there should be substance but it’s missing. In other words, the void seems to be intentional. Even so, there’s an interesting exploration of the male psyche, one where the aggressiveness is acknowledged and an alternative seems imminent.

(Credit: Shudder)

Jessica Forever was written and directed by Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel. It is a science-fiction drama in which young men are being hunted. A group of these young men are united under the leadership of a woman named Jessica (Aomi Muyock). They get a lot of armored gear, weaponry and become part of these commando-style male brotherhood. They eat trashy food, get high-tech gadgets as presents and hopefully kill off the drones that are sent after them. It’s a kind of futuristic but current lost-boys-wendy dynamic. The young men seem to take it all in stride, but they’re all stunted in their growth. Some desire a relationship they can’t express, some friendship, some hide violent tendencies.

There’s an initial layer to unpack in this film that seems to be fertile ground for other ideas. There’s a serious exploration of the male ideal, where men seem to seek a stable environment and create some sort of functional community but then some of them can’t help but seek trouble. Jessica seems to unite them under her banner, but what exactly is she offering them that is not banal? Seems that she doesn’t really have an alternative but to indulge their craving for guns, swords, video games, trash food, motorcycles, music, sports, tv’s and basically anything male coded. On the other hand, the silent and tacit recruits seem to yearn for something more. Is the message that there is nothing more than society has for them? Is the message that there is no message?

Lightly recommended with reservations. The movie does seem to explore at a surface level, the dangers of the young male generation who have a lot of games, sports, weapons and vehicles aimed at them. They just seem to lack any direction. It feels this world and these characters have been developed on the surface and could be part of a bigger world. Unfortunately, no ulterior motive is ever revealed. Seems we’ve peaked behind the curtain and found nobody at the controls.

That will do for now.