Mike Cahill writes and directs the science fiction drama ‘Bliss.’ It was produced by James D. Stern who made it with Endgame Entertainment and released via Amazon Prime.
Greg Whittle (Owen Wilson) is a daydreaming pencil pusher recently divorced. He sketches a strange coastal house and fakes a shoulder injury to take painkillers. When his boss Bjorn (Steve Zissis) fires him, Greg accidentally bumps into him, killing him. Whittle hides the body behind window shades. He runs across to the bar across the street where he meets Isabel Clemens (Salma Hayek). She claims that they are actually in a simulation and they can alter events with a strange yellow pill. When Greg’s daughter Emily (Nesta Cooper) finds him and tries to get him to seek help, Isabel insists that she is just part of the simulation. Greg begins to doubt the reality he is in, but also wonders if Isabel is manipulating him.
So, where to begin. If this had just been about a dad struggling with addiction, I think it could have been sold. Adding the whole, “this crappy world is a simulation” kind of boxed them in. This added an extra layer of plot that they did not seem to know where to take it. A movie about questioning where you stand suddenly got interrupted by this other wave. What is it? Life is beautiful or is it chaotic? Perhaps if they had provided more focus it would have come together.
It is a shame too. Owen Wilson, known for comedy roles, does a good job in this dramatic performance. He creates an aura of disorientation that his character feels. Likewise, Salma Hayek and Nesta Cooper bring their A-game. Their acting was pretty good, but it was wasted on this meandering into the bizarre plot. That was a shame to see.
I also did not get Bill Nye’s appearance. Nye is a fraud who pretends to be a scientist and Hollywood loves to cater to this delusion. It gets annoying after awhile. I also hate to break it to the entertainment industry, but he is not a good actor.
Bottom line, sure the performances in Bliss are pretty good. That being said, the movie gets lost in its confusing narrative and does not know what it is trying to say. If you just are bored and want to watch something, you could give it a try, I guess.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Violence, Drug-related incidents
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Most people say, ignorance is bliss. But I say, you have to experience the good to appreciate the bad.”
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of Judas and the Black Messiah and Inside The Circle. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.