Sometimes a film comes along that is so different, so unconventional and so original that you need to just sit back and revel in the story that it is telling. Lapsis is that film. A highly unique and quirky tale of science fiction that documents the obsessive nature of modern-day capitalism at play. And this one has plenty of cards up its sleeves.
In a parallel present, delivery man Ray Tincelli (Dean Imperial) is struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother. After a series of two-bit hustles and unsuccessful swindles, Ray takes a job in a strange new realm of the gig economy: trekking deep into the forest, pulling cable over miles of terrain to connect large, metal cubes that link together the new quantum trading market. As he gets pulled deeper into the zone, he encounters growing hostility and the threat of robot cablers, and must choose to either help his fellow workers or to get rich and get out.
Writer-director Noah Hutton takes audiences in a strange and incredibly different direction in Lapsis, a thoroughly unique science-fiction film that delivers twists and turns at every junction, and this is one hell of a puzzle-box movie. Incredibly unique and original, Lapsis is a film that reveals itself in the telling and Hutton layers this presentation with plenty of deep significance and cultural relevance and his narrative pulls you in right from the start. Lapsis is a film that arrives straight from left field, and it’s unlike anything I could have expected. Exploring ideas of the gig economy gone amuck, and the oppressive power of corporate capitalism, along with man’s own necessity for greed, there’s so much going on here and this one really makes you think.
The best part of Lapsis comes in the form of actor Dean Imperial who portrays schlubby everyman Ray Tincelli, a down-on-his-luck nobody with growing money problems who decides to try ‘cabling’ as an easy way to make an extra buck. But as soon as he gets involved things take a very strange twist and Ray is suddenly playing a game that both gives him one hell of an advantage….along with placing major roadblocks in his way. Imperial’s Ray is best described as a mix of Tony Soprano and Homer Simpson, and his distinctive Queens accent really helps to mark out his performance as this fish out of water character in the very strange events of this film.
Imperial’s Ray is the audience’s way into the strange world of Lapsis, and the audience really does go on a dual journey with him through the events of the film. Both Lapsis’s distinctive narrative and Ray’s character journey inform the direction of this film, and Hutton is able to get terrific mileage out of both thanks to his direction. Science fiction has always been the realm of exploration for creatives, and the ability to examine contemporary issues in a totally different setting has always led to plenty of innovation. This is exactly what we see going on here in Lapsis and as the twists mount up and the intensity rises for Ray you will find yourself very much surprised.
Lapsis really is something totally different and those who have a fondness for cult film will find a lot of refreshing ideas in this one. Going into it you expect one thing, but Hutton and his cast and crew deliver something totally different with this narrative and there are plenty of surprises that will unexpectedly sneak up on audiences.
Image: 387 Films