Release Date: September 20th, 2019
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Matt Kane
Release Format: Theatrical
Auggie is a science fiction film that doubles as the cure for insomniacs around the world as it is sure to put ’em to sleep. Yet, brings up some of the most thought-provoking conversations you can get from a film this month.
The film revolves around Felix (Richard Kind) who is loathing the retirement life until getting attached to his new parting gift, Auggie. This A.I companion begins to complicate life for him and everyone around him.
The movie isn’t bad or great, more so meh with good moments spread through. This something you’ll be unlikely to revisit. However, the acting and directing are some of the saving graces in Auggie. The actors do their best with the bland script. Director Matt Kane does what he can by spicing it up with some creative shots, bringing an artistic flair to Auggie.
Hard to catch
Auggie seems purposely boring in parts to emphasize how much of an unexciting Felix lives. This would be fine if when he got the AR glasses, things got exciting as well. While Felix is giggling like a schoolgirl with his, I just sat there wishing I could feel the same.
Watching workers paving a sidewalk was more interesting than most of the film. Really, that’s not a metaphor, people paving the sidewalk near me got my attention more than this did. While there are a lot of great and thought-provoking messages here, they’re not are not delivered in the most engaging ways.
There is a subtext here of people valuing their virtual relationships more than they do with their real-life ones or they are willing to throw away good relationships for “the new thing.”Felix drives out to the beach with his A.I, puts on fancy clothes and even buys her flowers. There are women in real life that can’t even get flowers from their man, who are gonna be pissed a virtual one is. One of those women is Felix’s wife Anne (Susan Blackwell) who has her own parallel arc to Felix here.
The most interesting dynamic here is between Felix and Anne. I couldn’t help but be intrigued to see how things would play out as Felix constantly makes the worst choices.It’s clear they love each other but are a point in their relationship where things are routine. Anne has similar a dilemma to Felix that arises, where someone else has caught her eye. The way she reacts to the new temptation is consistently the most engaging sections of the film that keeps you guessing what she’ll do.
Blackwell delivers a nuanced performance that makes her character not only believable but relatable. She gives one of the most heartfelt performances in the end that really grabs at your heart. Meanwhile, Kind does a good job of playing a sad shell of a man that isn’t all too likable. Their scenes together really do get you invested if their relationship survives or not by the end.
A major issue with the film is that dialogue is so mundane at times. Even if the monotony is done purposely, this must be a sin to make your audience tune out the way Felix does in the film. I genuinely liked the places this went, but getting to those parts is another story.
Besides the main family, all the other characters are just plot devices rather than people. Nothing more than ways to give exposition or move the plot. Now, if you boil it down, this can be said about any film but it’s pretty blatant when done here.
I will say for all the Sci-Fi elements this movie has, it still feels real and grounded in the best way. This didn’t feel like a movie but a snippet from a vital part of somebody’s life that made you feel like you were living it.
What’s your worth
Verdict: Auggie has an interesting premise that can be used for a wealth of rich material. Unfortunately, what’s on-screen here doesn’t capitalize on the topics as much as it could. The writing is arguably the weakest part that drags the experience down.
The film has some talented actors making souffle out of soup. That quality acting combined Matt Kane’s trained eye for great shots helps you to stick around to the credits. This could be a decent watch on the couch with friends at least for the fire conversation starter it would be. Beyond that, you could miss this and not be missing out on much.
What’s the best Sci-Fi film of the last decade? What upcoming films are you looking forward to? What are your thoughts on Auggie? Leave your comments!
- Good performances from the cast.
- Well-done and creative directing
- Flat dialogue
- Uninteresting characters
- Boring overall plot