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Soulcatcher (2023)

Soulcatcher (2023)

It looks good, but this Polish action thriller is as generic as they come

6.0

Movie

Poland
Drama
2023
DANIEL MARKOWICZ
Jacek Koman, Jacek Poniedzialek, Piotr Witkowski

TLDR

Great production value, comically bad action sequences.

What it's about

Kiel (Piotr Witkowski) is a skilled mercenary contracted to extract evidence of a mysterious weapon, but when he loses his brother during the mission, he shifts his focus to revenge.

The take

Nothing happens in Soultcatcher that you haven't seen before. There is an evil scientist who creates a weapon of mass destruction. There are government officials fighting to obtain the weapon for political gain. And of course, there is a rugged team of mercenaries, each with their own distinct identifier, tasked to save the day. None of these elements are inherently bad; often they’re even needed in a solid thriller. But Soulcatcher fumbles these elements with lousy, uninspired execution. The action sequences are terribly paced, the plot is riddled with fillers and cliches, and there are too many confusing moments that take you out of the moment. This is a shame, because the acting is not bad at all, and the production value is decent, impressive even. If only the producers allotted more of that budget to supporting the writing, then maybe Soulcatcher would’ve turned out much, much better. 

What stands out

That machine that turns people into rabid killers is just too comically big and evil science-y to take seriously. It’s straight out of a kids' cartoon! For those who grew up watching Phineas and Ferb, you can’t look at that gun and tell me it doesn’t remind you of Dr. Doofenshmirtz's maniacal inventions. Maybe this is Soulcatcher’s saving grace after all: it’s enjoyable in a camp sort of way, laughable for the wrong reasons.

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