AUGGIE (a film review by Mark R. Leeper).

As a going-away gift at his retirement party, Felix is given a virtual reality generator that creates for him an image of a stunningly beautiful young woman. He finds himself forming an emotional attachment to the computer-created image. The self-same story could have been told without any Science Fiction. Directed by Matt Kane; written by: Matt Kane and Marc Underhill. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10.

What is Auggie? It is the nickname of the technology to create ‘augmented humans’. An Auggie is also a virtual reality person/image created by that technology. It is ideal for companionship for the lonely. We have here what may or may not become a story of marital infidelity given a Science Fiction twist.

Richard Kind plays Felix, who in his 60s had become a sort of a nonentity to his business, his friends, and his wife. He is fascinated by the beautiful computer-image generated image of Auggie (Christen Harper). Felix changes under the influence of Auggie, much to the annoyance of his controlling wife Anne (Susan Blackwell). Felix is far from being unique in his situation and he is sorely tempted to upgrade his Auggie to equipment so that it can handle virtual sex. This is a story about marital infidelity given what may be a Science Fiction twist.

Kind plays Felix with the kind of looks that are unlikely to lead to real romance, but with software nearly anything is possible. Will his loneliness overpower his objections?

‘AUGGIE’ apparently takes place in a Science Fiction world that has no difference from our world except for the presence of the Auggie technology. An Auggie is a virtual reality image of a human that appears. It can read the information it needs from the user’s subconscious.

‘AUGGIE’ was written and directed by newcomer Matt Kane. This is his first time in the director’s seat or in writer’s seat. That is not surprising since he is only 28. In the end, we are left only with a platitude. The theme of it all is ‘Life is short, don’t waste it.’

I rate ‘AUGGIE’ a +2 on the -4 to +4.

‘AUGGIE’ opens in theaters on September 20, 2019.

© Mark Leeper 2019

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