Movie Review – Branded (2013)

Branded
Directed by Jamie Bradshaw & Aleksandr Dulerayn
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Release Date: January 15, 2013

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I can honestly say that BRANDED is one of the strangest movies I’ve seen in the past several months. And trust me–that is REALLY saying something. But is it good? Yes! It is! Aside from looking great onscreen, this film is an original and unique entry into the science-fiction thriller genre.

If you are not familiar with BRANDED, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:

In a dystopian society where mega-corporations rule, a terrifying conspiracy has been unleashed — one that controls the minds of the citizens. One man is determined to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy. His quest to find it will plunge him into a tangled web of power and intrigue, leading to a shocking revelation and an epic battle with the hidden forces and creatures that threaten the fate of mankind.

Reviewing this film is going to be a bit difficult without giving too much away. Thus, I am going to try to stay as vague as possible. This is truly one of those films you must see to appreciate, and I don’t want to dissuade you from seeing it by saying too much.

BRANDED is shot very well and looks amazing; the imagery is powerful and the visuals do not disappoint. I will admit, however, that the CG looks a bit cheesy; it reminds me of the type they used on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. This doesn’t detract too much from the film, but it is noteworthy.

The acting is great as well, with Ed Stoppard stealing the show as the main character. And, although I personally don’t care too much for her acting, Leelee Sobieski does a good job in her supporting role. I always enjoy seeing Jeffrey Tambor onscreen, and it is nice to see him play a bad guy every now and then.

The best aspect about BRANDED is the plot. Rife with originality and symbolism, the story mimics real life in that it depicts how marketing truly affects us as consumers. Going a step further, the movie also shows how branding can change the way we make decisions on what we buy, based simply on brand names instead of products. This film could very well be shown in the classroom, as it prompts much discussion about consumerism.

BRANDED is a film that every person in America should see, if not for entertainment value, then for informational purposes. It makes you think…it makes you question…and then it shows you what could happen if things are left “unchecked” in society today. Part PSA, part social commentary, but ALL entertainment, BRANDED is one of those films that will leave you thinking long after the credits have started to roll. Check this one out for sure.

MSB

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