ALGENY is the story of a man with a genetic gift. His blood has the ability to fend off any disease. He has gone his entire life thinking that the treatments he was receiving from his doctor was to help cure his own illness, but instead it was to help cure others. When he begins to get chased by a mysterious man, he learns about his genetic past, and goes on the run to prevent his body from being used by a greedy pharmaceutical company.
This tale (which somewhat plays like a cross between THE BOURNE IDENTITY and ENEMY OF THE STATE) is directed, written, and produced by first-timer Andrew Burroughs. Andrew has a great talent for writing diverse characters and immersing them in their stories. For his first film, Andrew does an admirable job of handling a film like this. He has a whole lot of great locations, a fairly large cast, and a lot of scenes multifaceted scenes. The camera rarely stays still in this movie, and Burroughs does a good job of capturing all the action.
The film is shot fairly well but could definitely use some more lighting in many scenes. The naturalistic look of the film doesn’t lend itself very well in several scenes, making some of them too dark to read the character’s expression and emotions. The action scenes are shot competently, with some decent handheld work on some of the chase scenes. The fights are actually done pretty well, with some decent effects shots (although there are a few continuity errors that could be addressed). ALGENY is edited fairly well. There are a few shot decision that I really didn’t like, and the film could probably stand to lose about 10-15 minutes worth of extra story. It plods along in a few spots, and this movie really feels like it should move along a little more than it does. It’s got a great story, and the characters are strong, but the film feels bogged down by story at times.
The sound design isn’t bad. The ambient music throughout is generally not bad except for a little overused techno mix during some of the early chase scenes. Overall the sound is crisp and clear. There is still a hint of “indie” to how it sounds, but overall not bad for a first-timer. The dialog doesn’t sound heaped on top of the soundtrack, and the effects and music are fairly well integrated.
As far as first film endeavors are concerned, Andrew Burroughs does a solid job with ALGENY. His film is a welcome addition to the independent film community.
ALGENY: THE GENETIC FACTOR Review
FILM SYNOPSIS - A young man becomes a pawn when a pharmaceutical company discovers he has a unique immune system and literally wants his blood.