The best thing about the new indie sci-fi movie Improved This is how director and co-writer James Mark ultimately explains how his world works. He doesn’t really have to do that. Improved is about as simple as movies: it’s a no-budget action film in which a girl is hunted down with powers by a private military dedicated to capturing her kind while trying to target a similarly powerful killer Super people aims to be one step ahead. The story begins with everyone becoming aware and ends when someone finally wins a fight: Improved isn’t really a “lore” movie, but we can call it that and pretend it’s more fun than it is. Because when it finally explained Why Things happen i immediately sat up straighter and wanted to know more. Unfortunately, Mark doesn’t really bother with the only fun idea in the movie.
To best appreciate this insane piece of backstory, we should probably delve into the frontline story. How many of Improved
Anna is unusually powerful, even for advanced people. She is also hunted by David (the director’s brother, Chris Mark), an improved serial killer who targets other improved people and grows stronger with each murder. It’s all pretty funny on paper: a little Heroes, maybe a shot of X-Men, even some Nomad land in there. However, it is no fun at all to watch, although it is clear that the director is primarily interested in directing a legibly shot, neatly choreographed action film.
So it’s a shame Improved is home to such extremely weightless, uncomfortable fights. The combatants keep trying out interesting holds and reversals that never really come up. Do you ever have someone else record you while you are doing something physical – maybe putting together your own “no scrubs” dance routine or doing all of a’s moves Power Rangers Follow – and then watch the replay and find that you don’t look as cool as you thought you would? The fights in Improved
It’s impossible to get over how weird these science fiction elements are involved. [Spoilers ahead.] Late in ImprovedIn the second act, Anna and George discover the truth about the secret experiments that led to the creation of improved people. Your powers do not come from simple genetic experimentation or technological expansion. You are not born with it and it is not Maybelline. No, they exist because scientists discovered another dimension of pure energy where “entropy does not exist” and has found a way to teleport things back and forth from this dimension. Which suggests that improved humans do not have superpowers, but are actually human-shaped doors to another reality in which they have just discarded the laws of thermodynamics.
Let me be very clear, I love this. It’s the kind of Bonkers thing you see in an X-Men comic where someone just casually throws out the idea that Nightcrawler isn’t doing this indeed teleported, he opens portals through hell. Or that Cyclops’ optical explosions are possible because his eyes are portals to another dimension. Unfortunately, Improved doesn’t love this idea enough to evolve or use it in more interesting ways, and after this reveal it quickly becomes a mind-blowing action movie again.
It’s a strange feeling to see something that would probably be better if it were worse. Improved is knowledgeable enough to be a decent tv pilot on a series that critics wouldn’t necessarily recommend but would check in from time to time to see how they’re doing. The characters in Improved aren’t actual characters, and their world is paper thin, but with 13-20 episodes to develop a cast and world, a lot of disasters can be turned around. Improved is a movie, however, and even if it does well in the cocky sequel, it ends up watching again Heroes – what you shouldn’t – would probably be even more fun.
Enhanced is available to stream, rent, or buy on Amazon, Vuduand other digital platforms.