Branded is a dark and mind-bending sci-fi thriller into a surreal, dystopian society where mega corporations have unleashed a monstrous global conspiracy to get inside our minds and keep the population disillusioned, dependent and passive. One man’s quest to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy will lead to an epic battle with the hidden forces that really control our world.
You know how some movies stick with you forever even though you desperately wish that you could gouge them from your brain? Branded is such a movie. This movie was so bad on so many levels that I found myself wishing I had stayed home. That is hard to do with me, as I like even bad movies. The only parts of Branded that was good to me were Leelee Sobieski (I like her in anything) and the fact that parts were so bad they were funny.
It is rare, as you all know that I trash a movie right out of the gate, but Branded earned it folks. This movie was so bad that I am going to struggle to write a coherent rehash of the basic plot. The fact is, I have no idea on some fronts.
Here is my best shot:
A marketing hot shot youngster (Ed Stoppard) was “Branded” as a child. (read struck by lightning) He grows up to work for an American spy that lives in Russia.(Jeffrey Tambor) It appears that he is there as a ad executive but it is not entirely clear what the real deal is there. (really)
The fact that he is a spy is never really explained nor is it ever worked into the story. It is one of many examples that follow that same pattern. Hey look at me! I am a spy! For no apparent reason! (Ahem…moving on)
Stoppard falls in love with Sobiesky because that is what primary characters do and because well….look at her. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Sobiesky. Despite my adoration, her real need to be in this movie is puzzling for me other than simply as a star insertion. She does a fine job, but I am shocked she accepted the script.
The movie then goes on to be about advertising and the evils inherent, red cows, cow constellations, lightning bolts, balloon like demons, things coming out of necks and world domination. Oh, and fast food creators that run things from their evil empire. (island)
I warned you folks that it was insane and it surely is. It kind of comes across as an infomercial in some instances and then comes across as a sci-fi Saturday night special in others. Characters come and go on whimsy and they apparently are on crack because one minute they are fighting and the next they are best friends…all with little to no explanation.
The bottom line here is that Alexander Doulerain and Jamie Bradshaw got really lucky when they managed to get someone to buy this and actually let them film it. It is beyond me that someone would read this script and think for two seconds that it could work. I literally did not understand over half of it and I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. The movie is all over the place.
There is even a theme within the movie about overweight folks on a reality show that makes little to no sense as well. Abby Gibbons, (Sobeisky) is involved and the show seems to be based on cosmetic surgery and weight. Somewhere along the line the movie simply just becomes a garbled mess.
The movie is narrated by what can only be described as the most arrogant voice on the planet. What is being said is irrelevant because you are so confused about what is happening on the screen. It is almost as though the movie was written in seven directions and they just merged them all and hoped for the best. Whatever the case, I found it unwatchable.
Unwatchable, of course, other than Leelee Sobieski.