The Lazarus Effect
Posted: Jun-09-2015 at 2:27pm
The Lazarus Effect (2015) Rated PG-13
Starring Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Bolger, Evan Peters, Donald Glover
Directed by David Gelb
Reviewed by Dave Felts
The Lazarus Effect was actually completed back in 2013, but various distribution contortions kept it out of the theater until February 2015. I don't know if this is a reflection on its quality or not -- maybe it had a hard time finding someone who wanted to release it?
Disappointing is a good word to describe how I felt after watching it. I was surprised given some of the stars here, who've all been in series and/or other movies I've enjoyed.
The set-up seems pretty good. Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiance Zoe (Olivia Wilde) are medical researchers working for a university. They've developed a serum they call "Lazarus" with the intended effect of helping revive brain function in coma patients. Somehow they've discovered it can be used to regenerate neurons and cells and is capable of bringing the dead back to life.
Niko (Donald Glover), Clay (Evan Peters) and videographer Eva (Sarah Bolger) help the two run an experiment to bring a dead dog back to life. It works, but the dog is different, and scans show that the Lazarus serum is causing the formation of new and unforeseen connections and synapses within the dog's brain. And instead of dissipating, the serum is hanging around and having a continuous effect. The dog is starting to display more and more odd behaviors and isn't much acting like a dog anymore....
Alas, their experiments exceeded the bounds of their research contract with the university, who sells them out to Big Pharma (BP). BP shows up to claim the lab and all their equipment, banishing the scientists and their helpers.
They're able to sneak back into the lab though, and, despite the less than ideal results of the first experiment, set out to replicate it. They want to make sure they have documentation and can secure credit for their discovery.
Through an unforeseen and unfortunate circumstance, they end up trying the serum on a human. I thought the reasoning behind the attempt was actually pretty realistic, since it was based on an emotional decision and not a scientific one. Up to this point, although far-fetched, the whole thing was looking pretty good and making some sort of sense. Alas, it's all downhill from here.
So many flickering lights.
A younger crowd (say 13 or so) might enjoy this. I could see it being fun at a tweenager's sleepover, but that's about it.
Edited by SFReader - Jul-06-2016 at 1:46pm
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