Life is fragile and you quite literally get to only live it once. Many of us wish we were immortal or simply could live just a bit longer so we can spend a tad bit more time with the ones we love and hold the most dear. Those sentiments could also be shared with those close to us who have now passed from the physical plane to the astral. In life, we don’t get a reset button and we can’t respawn and start over as we often do in video games.
How many times have we found ourselves wishing we could go back and change the past or get a simple do-over when a mistake haunts us longer than it needs to? What if someone was taken from us for what we consider to be “too soon”? Robert Hloz’s Restore Point poses that question and presents that reality in his neo-noir cyberpunk world as we aim to solve a murder case.
Restore Point is set in the not-so-distant future, in the year 2041 where the gaps in social and economic inequality have left the world on the brink. A breakthrough in both science and technology has granted humanity the ability to be brought back to life by backing up their brains every 48 hours, this is known as your restoring point, or as the film title alludes, a “Restore Point”. The ability to restore one’s life based on a previous backup can be beneficial, especially for those who fall victim to violent crimes or fatal accidents.
Be one of those unfortunate enough to not partake in the restoration program or fail to back up every 48 hours then you’re just as good as dead. Restore from a backup from the past 48 hours and you are all good, get restored from a backup from anything longer than 48 hours is cause for some rather drastic side effects, known as restoration syndrome or as I called it throughout the film, the bleeding effect. It was a heavy reminder of Assassin’s Creed and the “bleeding effect” individuals had from prolonged animus immersion.
All of this technology provides an ambitious, young detective, Emma Trochinowska (Andrea Mohylová) the opportunity to solve the case of a murdered couple when the restoration team brings one of the victims back. The victim? None other than one of the driving forces behind the restoring technology, David (played by Matěj Hádek). The return of David sets in motion a thrilling murder mystery that poses more questions than answers as its story unravels.
This all lends to the world-building the film sets out to do. However, it doesn’t spend a ton of time explaining the technology we bear witness to which also serves as the driving force of every character in this film. The technology lends itself to questioning one’s morality and grief, and how this piece of technology can be both beneficial and detrimental not only to its users but also to the general public.
Robert Hloz does a great job of emphasizing the point and not losing his focus in the process all the while creating a world that is nothing short of ambitious with heavy cyberpunk influences even if it lacks the bright neon lights we all come to expect from a sci-fi epic of this style. There’s plenty to expect when it comes to a sci-fi, neo-noir film and Hloz does an exceptional job at subverting those expectations. This is evident during the film’s climax when it seems like the bad guys come out on top. Alas, Hloz pulls out his trump card and ultimately serves the justice our detective was so eagerly fighting for.
If there is anything I would need to critique about this film is the English dubbing of the film. I had the option to watch the film subbed or dubbed and ultimately optioned to watch the film dubbed and unfortunately, the dubbing of the film is not the best and at times takes you out of the film. Especially during scenes that are meant to drive home a certain point or elevate the emotions driving the scene.
I would personally recommend watching the film subbed if that’s your cup of tea, if it is not, then enjoy the dubbed version to the best of your capabilities. There’s just something more sensational and alluring when watching any piece of international media in its native language. Not saying that all English dubs are bad, It is just that the dubbing for Restore Point was just not that great, and the voice-over performances more often than not fall flat almost every time.
Restore Point only suffers from over-dedication to world-building, which can make the viewing experience slightly sluggish at best—all the while raising a ton of questions that do not provide immediate answers and resolutions, although the payoff is rather exceptional when the twists are brought forward along with the lingering truths. It puts into question one’s morality when it comes to mortality, conspiracies, and public safety at the behest of one’s false sense of immortality. Robert Hloz knocks it out of the park with this feature debut and showcases exemplary work in the sci-fi genre that is both tantalizing and gripping.
Restore Point lands on U.S. VOD on February 8th from XYZ Films!
Want to discuss things further? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. And for more film, gaming, anime, and TV news, trailers, and updates, keep it locked here at The Nerdy Basement. While you’re here, please consider supporting us on Patreon! It’s an easy way of supporting us so we can keep providing you with your Nerdy News!