FOUR STARS Ray is a gig-worker laying cables for a computing company. So are their robots.
COMEDY US #LAPSIS
Dean Imperial, Madeline Wise
This rather bizarre film will be as frustrating for some audiences as it will be all-knowing to others. Depends where you sit in the gig-economy really, or your empathy for those that do. Once you’re in on the joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had.
Ray needs quick cash to help pay for his brother’s healthcare. He gets a job with a cable-company and in one of many appealing riffs on the zeitgeist, becomes a cable guy. In this case, he’s helping with the rollout of quantum computing by way of connecting various hubs with, well, cables. Aided and encouraged by an app on this phone, he quickly finds himself on some particularly lucrative routes. Or at least they will be lucrative if he can beat the cable-robots, there to spur competition. And if any of this is beginning to sound familiar, there’s a reason for that…
LAPSIS gives a hearty nod to lo-budget indie films of the late 90’s with a pinch of Hal Hartley or David Lynch in a playful mood. Thus you’ll find a lot of socio-political noodling in the margins as Ray tries to outwit the robots, cash in his chips and avoid a scandal that’s building up around him. Which is not to say this is a political film per se. Mostly it’s an offbeat comedy that holds a mirror to the peril gig-workers find themselves in without turning full Hollywood-polemic. It’s a measure of writer/director Noah Hutton’s smarts.
Here is a genuinely witty film that makes the absurd premise seem perfectly normal. LAPSIS is a razor-sharp satire that may be merciless in its observation of a new-normal, but it doesn’t loose its sense of humour and is all the better for it. LAPSIS won't set cash-register alight, but watch out for that knowing nod between those who do catch this rough gem.