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Visioneers


“Give me productivity or give me death.” Corporate America has steadily grown and taken over the capitalist system in which we live. More and more people are stuck in low-level jobs for years on end living a dull, monotonous life that few envy. George (Zach Galifianakis) has started feeling the effects of such a mundane lifestyle in the equally tedious Visioneers.

Grade:

The Jeffers Corporation has overtaken city life in this version of America. Millions upon millions have taken a test and been employed by this company that provides the world with…Well, it is never made clear what Jeffers produces, but rest assured, they control everything. There is such an emphasis on productivity and living a “Jeffers” life that people have begun spontaneously combusting. George begins to wonder about life and why he is unhappy. His wife, Michelle (Judy Greer), has turned to infomercials for advice for happy living. Others have turned to teddy bears, inhibitors or hats with the solar system attached (all provided by the Jeffers Corporation). All in all, the world has been stripped of dreams and genuine moments of true life for the sake of consumer possibilities.

Visioneers is a film so engrossed in its message that it embodies the character of corporate disillusionment. The film moves at a glacial pace, leaving the viewer disinterested and apathetic. We are shown so many different aspects of this monotonous life that it erodes at your desire to keep watching. The characters are trying to escape just as much as we are. George is looking for anything to ignite a fire in his belly to make him feel alive again. Everyone is basically waiting around until spontaneous combustion provides a sweet release from the endless void these people call life. The Jeffers Corporation focuses on employee happiness, but it is not genuine happiness. It is superficial happiness that leads to production and a peaceful work environment.

From the beginning, Visioneers attempts to replicate Mike Judge’s (Office Space, Idiocracy) unique style of humor. Sadly, we are shown an inordinate amount of satirical elements with a serious lack of wit. Galifianakis is actually very well cast for this role considering his eccentric style. He does not get the chance to show his comedic side for which he is so famous, but he effectively portrays a man slowly losing his ability to feel or recognize emotions. Greer, also hiding her comedic talents, is given a nearly identical role, but actually has a source of her unhappiness, George. There are subplots, such as George’s dreams as George Washington, his brother’s return home, and his former colleague Charisma, but they are so irrelevant and insignificant that they are incapable of changing anything about the film.

As mentioned earlier, Visioneers is trying to be clever and ridicule the economic dominance and sociological reliance on corporations, but the attempt at producing a profound movie falls flat. Within the first ten minutes, it is made annoyingly apparent where the plot is going and what is trying to be achieved. Maybe director Jared Drake is bidding to show us how obvious our reliance on consumerism is becoming. In that case, he succeeds. There is still no need for this important message to be shoved down our throats for an hour and a half.

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