INVINCIBLE FORCE

3 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 131 minutes
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Directed by Dan S, Invincible Force follows Drew (Drew Ailes) over the course of 90 days as he sets out to change his life. Similar to the P-90X exercise craze you hear so often about, Drew is going to do a daily workout regimen every day for 90 straight days. As he progresses, he films himself, sometimes addressing the camera but, most often, the camera is a static fly-on-the-wall presence for all that occurs.

And what occurs is that Drew not only sticks to his workouts religiously, he becomes severely addicted to them. While at first his personality changes are more subtle, roughly 25 days in he begins to become fed up with those around him, whether its his girlfriend Amber (Anissa Siobhan Brazill), whom he has sex with in an increasingly mechanical way, eventually treating each thrust like an exercise rep, or his friend Chris (Chris Bakke), whose lack of interest in exercise or self-improvement has made him inferior in Drew’s eyes. As the days continue, Drew’s self-confidence grows to an irrational extreme, and his body grows more fit, while the social reality around him begins to crumble. He may be stronger, but he’s not paying his electric bill; he may be clean-shaven, but he’s… well, I won’t spoil what he does to conserve protein, but it’s disturbing.

While I found Invincible Force to be an extremely interesting idea, and I appreciated that it was filmed the way it was, with Drew actually undergoing the physical transformation in 90 days as the film was created, my biggest criticism is that it’s far longer than it needs to be. While it doesn’t go day-by-day exactly, it does become repetitive as it rolls alone, feeling too drawn out. You get that he’s alienating himself from those around him, and reality in general, and I don’t know that it needs to play out in so plodding a pace.

Of course, the plus of that is that you see the transformation for the slow burn that it is, and you get, by the end of the film, the severity of the change in a much more organic way; it’s overwhelming and shocking to compare Drew on Day 1 to Drew on Day 90, but it feels like a more natural progression when it is allowed to play out the way it is. So, I get the choice. Perhaps it could’ve been just as powerful at a shorter running time, but I understand why it is what it is; why the choice was made to go this route.

On the one hand, Invincible Force is a testament to the power of self to transform given enough time and dedication. On the other hand, that value can vary depending on what you’re transforming into. In this case, Drew shows an astounding commitment to becoming an asshole, and we get to watch it happen rep-by-rep.

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Posted on January 26, 2013 in Reviews by
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