By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
Inspired by conspiracy thrillers such as Blow Up, The Conversation, and Blow Out, writers Tim Woodall, Phil Drinkwater and director Jacob Gentry offer a more modern take on this type of story, with mostly mixed results. Though the movie has a fascinating premise, I feel that the execution and presentation leaves more to be desired. While Broadcast Signal Intrusion does have its moments and has an intelligent and timely message, it just never lands its intended impact.
Harry Shum, Jr stars as James, a lowly and lonely video archivist for a television station. While transferring video to an updated format, James discovers a bizarre and disturbing video clip interrupting programming from a several years back. He soon discovers that the clip and others very similar to it were part of some pirated signals that interupted programming on three different occasions, spread out over time. The videos seem to be sending coded messages, but the whos, what and why are not at all clear. James instantly becomes obsessed with discovering the truth behind these clips even if he has to risk his job and life to do it.
Even though I appreciate the movie’s premise and its message, particularly in this age of internet misinformation and conspiracy theories, I found myself a bit underwhelmed by the film’s overall presentation. The filmmakers do deliver some suspense, along with some shock and awe, but often meander too much and get redundant with the procedural aspects of James’ investigation. This definitely takes away from the movie’s impact and is ultimately disappointing. Actors Harry Shum, Jr and Kelley Mack perform well in the film, despite its weaknesses and do help in keeping the audience invested.
And as much as Gentry and his writers want their movie to be to be the next great conspiracy thriller, they end up leaving much to be desired. I find enough of the movie entertaining and intriguing to give it a moderate recommendation, but do encourage anyone interested to temper their expectations. I definitely see the various shades of influence from better, more effective thrillers, but Broadcast Signal Intrusion needs more than that to make it stand on its own as a thoroughly riveting thriller.