Amazon’s Sci Fi Drama ‘Bliss’ Gets Weighed Down by Drudgery and a Tangled Story

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer

Plot: Bliss is a mind-bending love story following Greg, who after recently being divorced and then fired meets the mysterious Isabel, a woman living on the streets and convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is a computer simulation.

So is this thing really up my nose right now?

Review: Is life a simulation? That’s the question writer and director Mike Cahill is asking with his movie Bliss. Moreso, he’s asking you, the viewing audience. It’s a concept you’ve seen before, most famously in The Matrix Trilogy and most recently in the stellar (so far) television series, WandaVision.

Bliss tries to put a more grounded spin on this theory, with Owen Wilson as Greg Wittle, a man whose cynical outlook on life is visually expressed by the dull color palette used by Cahill. He meets a woman named Isabel, played with exuberant delight by Salma Hayek, who gives him a yellow pill (sounds familiar right?) that allows him to manipulate his environment. As the movie goes on, we learn more truths about this world and we also learn some sci-fi concepts are best left squarely in the realm of sci-fi.

ISABEL: And over there is the best taco stand in the city. GREG: That’s just a homeless dude digging through a dumpster. Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Amazon Studios

What I mean by this is that Bliss tries hard to be more than it needs to be. The dramatic elements of this story weigh down what could’ve been a fun, comedic look at what really makes life worth living. Instead we have plot threads that touch on homelessness, drug abuse and a whole lot of unnecessary confusion thrown in to make the story seem smarter than it actually is.

Wilson and Hayek give it their best and do have a natural chemistry that works well here, but other than that, and a few awesome visual effects (one that was invented for this movie, tres cool!) Bliss focuses too much on the cynical, ugly virtual world of the characters. And in doing so, sucks all the entertainment that could’ve possibly be found here right off the screen.

Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10

For my review of Sci Fi mystery Vivarium you can click here. Or for Featured Writer Alice’s review of Sci Fi thriller Black Box you can click here.

2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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