Sometimes all you need to experience a reality that is just as vivid as life itself is a crash helmet and an obsolete computer. Sounds like a low budget way of bringing virtual experience to life, doesn’t it? Well, don’t let that deter you from seeing this because it makes the most of its premise in some surprising ways. I won’t discuss all of the ins and outs in that regard, but one aspect that comes to mind is the connections which are established between the virtual reality and meatspace are the ways in which becoming numb to the effects of technology are brought to light. But how numb would one be if his or her experience was alluded to in a newspaper headline later on? In addition to such detail being nice touch that entertains the consequences of stepping into another’s shoes, the question as to how close a simulation should be to reality. Thought-provoking stuff.
Another area of interest is the titular company. At first it is as unassuming as your typical startup,
which works in its favor due to the fact Lester and Nicolaus are determined to provide immersive
experiences. Their intentions of providing escapism from the humdrum nature of existence is a focal
point, and although there are only a few scenes which depict the experience of virtual reality, the theme
of high tech and low life plays a role nonetheless. It has to do to the fact that with Nicolaus and Lester
prey upon the wealthy, which has an irony to it because they’re paying so much to step into the shoes of
the less fortunate. There’s also the implication that Nicolaus and Lester aren’t concerned with the effects
on the user, which is what Joel experiences as he becomes detached from his wife and in-laws. Both
aspects are of note because they being to mind that in addition to the fact that a corporation can take
advantage of those who associate with it, the dissociation that can result from utilizing technology is
not without a sense of concern.
Although third act isn’t entirely straightforward, it isn’t too convoluted either. I will say that it has its confusing moments concerning Joel and his wife, but since the concept is fresh enough, it doesn’t come as pretentious. I recommend putting on your headset and immersing yourself for the full experience.