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- Directed by Philippe McKie -

In a futuristic Tokyo, where people have the possibility of technologically enhancing their body and memory, a hacker is attacked by an intelligent virus, so dangerous that it is haunted by his own creators. Under the menace of losing all her memory, the woman performs the tasks given by the parasitic AI hoping to reach a high-speed un-surveilled internet point and be free again, letting the virus escape into the network. But after the adventuresome journey, she gets wounded badly and she will finally have to leave her human body.

Pertaining to the cyberpunk subgenre, this short sci-fi depicts a quirky world dominated by the power of artificial intelligence and those capable to control it. Actually, it tackles the delinquents of this world, the hackers named breakers.

The plot becomes gripping as we get to discover the looks and rules of this universe, but the superficial acting and the lack of emotional build-up make the story unconvincing. The fight scenes are sloppy, and even taking into consideration the conventions of Japanese cinema, the main character gives an inexpressive performance.

However, the lush visual style of this film and its poetry keep the viewer interested until the end and make it a memorable cinematic experience. The final scene is a meditation on the on the concept of eternity in the upcoming age of artificial intelligence. For the breaker, life continues after physical death: her pack of memories will travel for an indefinite time in the depths of the Internet. Maybe that is the closest humankind can come to a tangible, believable afterlife.

The improvements made her stronger, but also more accessible to potential invasion. The AI saves himself but gives her a chance to become part of his world.

The cinematography is fluid, the camera tracks the troubled protagonist through the colorful neon enlighted city. The frames are great compositions portraying the beauty and mystery of this futuristic universe. The editing is a bit slow-paced, sometimes the shots are too long, breaking the rhythm.

Taking everything into account, “Breaker” has an intriguing premise and manages to keep the viewer engaged through its quirky story and beautiful imagery.

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