Movie Reviews

Mildly Satisfying (Urge Review)

A hedonistic group of friends (Justin Chatwin, Danny Masterson, Ashley Greene, and Alexis Knapp) head off to an island nightclub resort for a weekend getaway. Once there, a mysterious club owner, known as ‘The Man’ (Pierce Brosnan), offers them a new designer drug, but warns that it can only be taken one time. The group indulge in the substance, and a wild night ensues. But when some of them take the drug again the following night, unwelcome side effects begin to arise.

Well, the film is releasing on DVD/Blu-Ray today so why not review it now? The intriguing thing about this one was Pierce Brosnan as the trailers implied a much different role from him. Here he plays a shady nightclub owner known only as ‘The Man’. He offers a group of friends a new drug called Urge. What is special about Urge is that it can only be used one time. Of course that doesn’t happen, otherwise this wouldn’t be much of a reason to continue the film. As soon as they take it again, things get a little more wild and crazy to say the least.

That’s all the plot pretty much as this wasn’t a particularly long film, clocking in at 89 minutes. The film could have fleshed out a lot of its plot as it created more questions than answers. While the film may have seemed about the group of friends, they were more of a means to demonstrate the destructive capabilities of Urge. They weren’t alone in this, however, as the island in which they were on served as a microcosm of the downfall of society.

The group of friends and many of the island’s residents just went crazy as a result of the drug. Their behaviors fell on each end of the spectrum, to say the least, and were sometimes on the silly side. While this all had the potential to be very repetitive. the short running time helped with this. It just felt like it focused more on showing people being crazy instead of the plot. Because of the underdeveloped plot, it was difficult to ever make a connection to any of the characters, making them come off as unlikable.

The reason for all this was ‘The Man’. Continuing with the underdeveloped plot, he did not appear in the film as much as the trailers suggested. His role was a little confusing as it was unclear whether or not he was the villain or the crazy Urge users are the villains. This made things a little hard to follow as it wasn’t immediately clear where the film was going. What hurt this even more was that his own motivations were not clear and seeing that he was barely in the film to begin with, he never really got the chance to explain himself.

Despite everything, the acting was decent. None of the friends were particularly likable, but their chemistry made them okay to watch. The friends had some subplots of their own but it was tough to ever care about them. The exception was Justin Chatwin who played Jason Brettner, someone for who Urge had no effect on. There had to be a “straight” man here and he was okay at it but he didn’t have too much to do with it. The best performance has to be Brosnan’s as ‘The Man’, he was definitely underutilized here but in what little time he had, he still managed to be shady and menacing, similar to Patrick Stewart in Green Room. The film leaves the opportunity for all of this to continue as a post-credit scenes implies more.

Overall, this was a decent shell of a film but it was still a shell as it was lacking in plot or characters.

Score: 6/10

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