Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek, Get Lost In A Simulation In Amazon Prime’s Bliss
Written By Matthew Sadowski
Owen Wilson is Greg Wittle, a quiet, absent-minded office drone. He is obsessed with sketching pictures of a glamorous seaside resort and a beautiful woman that looks a lot like Salma Hayek. When Greg’s doodling leads to him getting fired, he accidentally startles his boss (Steve Zissis) who falls backwards, hits his head, and dies. Greg hides the body and flees to a bar across the street where he meets the strange Isabel Clemens (Salma Hayek), who is shocked to see that Greg is “real.” Greg has no idea what she means, so Isabel demonstrates telekinetic powers as proof that they are the only two “real” people there. She even makes his boss’ body fall out of a window so it looked like a suicide. Freed from his guilt, Greg unlocks his own telekinetic powers and runs away with Isabel, roaming dreary back alleys and causing mischief.
But soon Greg encounters Emily (Nesta Cooper), his daughter, who implies that Greg has been on drugs. Greg remembers her, but is encouraged by Isabel to forget about Emily since she is just a simulation. To finally prove it, Isabel takes Greg back into the “real” world, a utopia where the both of them are famous scientists and live on a beautiful resort, the one from Greg’s pictures. As Greg explores the new world, he realizes that other scientists don’t have a lot of faith in Isabel, and he starts to question whether or not Emily really was just a simulation.
What I just wrote is pretty tedious, but it is the best way to describe Bliss. It is a constant stream of new information that may or may not cancel out what just came before it. What could be a game-changing plot point in most other movies becomes just another odd moment in a long list of odd moments. Bliss is certainly a movie that has things to say about the mundanity of existence, the riskiness of totally freewheeling it, and the ethics of simulated reality, but has no cohesion to express its thoughts properly. The movie wants to be complicated and that is fine, but Bliss gets so caught up in its own complexity that it becomes a simple case of overwriting.
Directed by: Mike Cahil
Starring: Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek, Nesta Cooper, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.
Streaming on: Amazon Prime
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