“Fight to the death” films aren’t new. There have been quite a few made in the last few years – Hunger Games and Maze Runner are two of the most recent sci fi examples. And starting tomorrow, in limited release, we have a new contestant, Andron.
Honestly, it took me quite a while to figure out what this was – and maybe that was part of the filmmakers’ intentions. The movie is advertised as starring big names Alec Baldwin and Danny Glover – both of them have small parts, with Baldwin as Adam, the game master of these Redemption Games, and Glover as, I think, the leader of this dystopian society.
The film’s official synopsis: In the year 2154, a group of young men and women awake in a dark claustrophobic maze. They don’t remember who they are or how they got stuck in the Black Labyrinth of ANDRON. The group must learn to decipher codes, understand the signals and beat the tests in this mysterious and bizarre place. Out of necessity they struggle to form a bond to survive, while the outside world watches and wagers on their fate.
Ten contestants must find their way through Andron, not necessarily by fighting each other to the death (although there are several attacks between contestants), but by surviving the guards within the machine. Their memories have been deleted, but one of the contestants has a secret about who she is and what she’s doing in Andron.
Slaves – which seems like the majority of the world’s catastrophe-reduced population – bet on the contestants. If their chosen participant is killed, the slave then dies immediately. The game is transmitted to the really uniformly dirty, down-trodden slave population (except for Glover’s personal slave, to whom he seems to have an emotional attachment of some sort) by means of a personal, possibly implanted viewer – watchers “see” the contest in holograms immediately in front of their eyes. We see very little of the world, but it’s obvious that there has been a huge deadly global event, and even this reduced population can’t be sustained.
Baldwin’s job is similar to the game master in The Hunger Games – direct the hazards that the contestants will face, and ensure that only one survives. The “world” surrounding Andron bears no resemblance to Pan Em, and the ultimately-revealed reason for this gladiator contest is not the same, but I felt like I had seen this before – and done better. We never learn enough about any of the contestants to have any interest in any one of them. We never even learn their names – they were Hair Guy, Pretty Girl, Glasses Guy, Accent Guy, Bald Woman, Savage Man… create your own nicknames. It’s really too bad that actors of Baldwin and Glover’s caliber were wasted in this film – I can’t figure out why they agreed to participate in this film, unless they both needed something to do to fill a week between real jobs.
I can’t give you the names of any of the other actors in this film – the credits were done so poorly that they were unreadable. Andron was directed by Francesco Cinquemani, in his feature film debut. The movie is being released tomorrow in a handful of theaters:
Boston (Manchester) – AMC Liberty Tree Mall 20
Chicago – AMC Streets of Woodfield 20
Denver – AMC Arapahoe Crossing 16
Detroit – AMC Southfield 20
Kansas City – AMC Town Center 20
Phoenix (Prescott) – AMC Deer Valley 17
San Francisco/Oak/San Jose – AMC Deer Valley Stadium 16
Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) – AMC Woodlands Square 20
New York – Cinema Village
Los Angeles – Arena Cinema
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