Directed by: Harley Wallen
Written by: #HarleyWallen
A homeless ex-soldier finds himself entangled with a million dollar kidnapping when two companies are due to merge over a humanity-altering scientific breakthrough. Written by, directed by, and featuring Harley Wallen, indie film Eternal Code is an action-packed thriller with high stakes and no brakes.
Damien Chinappi plays the aforementioned war vet Corey, whose glum days of sitting on park benches begging come to an end when the daughter of a CEO (Erika Hoveland) comes crashing into his life. Finding purpose in her dangerous situation, Corey springs into action and puts his combat skills to good and deadly use.
Audiences who enjoy their cinema light on substance but drenched in quickfire entertainment will likely find Eternal Code a foot-to-the-floor frolic in the right direction. Characters are either stupendously heroic or cartoonishly villainous, with very little reasoning in between but still intriguing enough.
Aspects of the movie were quite wooden or lacking in polish. The acting varies from being passably efficient to wildly hammy. Certain sequences were written like a twelve-year-old had penned them, such as the vague explanations of brain transplants or the gaggle of goons making various threats over mobile phones. That being said, a solid layer of emotional investment is made using the chemistry between the players. Hoveland delivers a particularly memorable turn as the influential and didactic leader of her father's company. Her anxiety over the consequences of what her company may be about to release upon the world is very compelling.
Wallen proves himself to be a proficient #filmmaker when it comes to the pacing of the movie and the set-pieces used to keep the viewer enthralled by the exploits of all the characters. Sinister and evil elements, whilst fairly basic in terms of depth, are delivered well to curate an atmosphere of palpable peril. Other aspects could definitely be improved, such as the clangy musical score which shoehorned itself into too many scenes, or the #choreography of the fight scenes which was laughable.
When combining a #scifi premise with an #action movie structure, you need to be prepared to fully flesh both aspects out. Regrettably, Eternal Code skimps on the narrative development and keeps pumping energy into the plethora of scenes involving running, shooting, and threatening conversations, which ends up exhausting rather than engrossing. That said, it’s a film that can certainly be enjoyed with the right appetite for mainstream stories of violence and retribution, and there are elements, such as Hoveland’s performance, which are captivating.