Rachel Notley, Thomas Mulcair, Justin “JT” Trudeau, Christy Clark, Stephen Harper, and special guest appearance by Alison Redford.
In a dystopia overrun by lunatic Mulcairian Minions, Coiffeo (Justin Trudeau), Canada’s greatest hope, is trapped in a limbo world while the majority of Albertans remain in a state of suspended reality. The few humans who are cognizant of the grim realities of the provincial political state desperately try and hold off the minions long enough for Coiffeo to escape and save the day. But things turn disastrous when an all-powerful computer program Agent Rhytid Maximus (Rachel Notley) arrives in the flesh.
Just in time for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, it is time to prepare your auditory and visual cortexes to be hydraulically fractured with excitement as you sit through P.F. Chang’s latest cinematic offering, The Notrix. In this unauthorized 4.5 hour installment of the Wachowski sibling’s Matrix franchise, we have a politically star-studded cast who take theatrics and uninspired acting to previously unheard of levels.
The year is 2025, 10 years after Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives suffer a shocking defeat at the hands of the New Democratic party, ending the former’s 40-year reign on the oil rich province. The vast majority of Albertans are living in a reality where skinny wrinkly orange robots with sinister fake smiles rule the province and keep its inhabitants plugged into a virtual reality computer program. These Albertans live in a dream world of consistent $100/barrel oil and $14/MMBtu gas, 40% base-salary bonuses, oversized houses, and fancy cars, while their energy fuels the robots’ insatiable thirst for political power and environmental superiority.
“I wanted to be clear about portraying an image of a superficial existence where ignorant Albertans thrive by blocking out a troublesome reality, but instead live in a society drowning in wealth while the rest of Canada suffers.” – Toronto-born P.F. Chang
Enter, Jake Richardson (Justin Trudeau), a 23-year old Capital Analyst at Edmonton-based Rockerfeller Industries, who spends the majority of his time at work trying to hack into a nearby Starbucks computer system to introduce a penny skimming scheme that he’d been working on for years. He is approached by an attractive woman named Splifity (Christy Clark) who tells him about an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, who can answer Jake’s question: Why does Alberta suck so much? Cue the fun and fightin’.
Splifity leads Jake (who’s name inexplicably changes to Coiffeo at some point in the movie) to a man named Dorkeus (Stephen Harper). Dorkeus tells Coiffeo that he is the only one on the planet who can save Albertan’s from a virtual reality world that they have been in since the spring elections a decade ago, which will lead Coiffeo to the answer he seeks.
But there’s a problem. In order to be the hero, he and Dorkeus will have to team up with Splifity and battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously annoying sub-intelligent Mulcairian Minions (voice by Thomas Mulcair) and their leader Agent Rhytid Maximus (Rachel Notley).
The Mulcairian Minions, hundreds of thousands of computer generated portly, bearded mini-henchmen in the likeness of Thomas Mulcair, have the amazing ability to never stop talking and annoy EVERYONE with whom they come in contact. They, along with Agent Rhytid Maximus attempt to do everything in their power to stop Coiffeo and company, including to unleash the sinister inhumane antics of their secret weapon of destruction (played by Alison Redford).
At first viewing, the plentiful jaw-dropping action sequences stun, but there’s more with groundbreaking “orange-time” photography (where a faint silhouette of Premier Notley dressed in an orange suit appears in the background of each action scene). Coiffeo is determined to win the battle, but realizes that the truth could cost him something far, far more precious than his life – his hair.
The on-screen performances wow, to a limited degree. Admittedly, Trudeau is gifted the perfect role – he and his coif have to look good while he hits things. But Stephen Harper drops the ball on a number of occasions acting in what some will argue is a characteristic robotic manner. Christy Clark is charismatic, clever, and sexy, while the Mulcair-based minions are monumental.
What is “The Notrix”? It’s part genius and part not genius. And yes, we admit, you have to see it for yourself.
2P News gives this movie 4.5 out of 5 pints.