REVIEW: Rebirth (2016)

Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of Rebirth. Available on Netflix right now.

Rebirth is a new film distributed by Netflix. The film follows Kyle (played by Fran Kranz), a social media-manager for a bank, who one day, out of the blue, is contacted by an old friend (played by Adam Goldberg). This old friend introduces him to ‘rebirth,’ a life-changing experience that he wants Kyle to go through. Ultimately, Kyle decides to attend the weekend event, but he soon finds out that ‘rebirth’ isn’t as safe as he thought it would be. 

That sounds great, right? An exciting thriller, right? Yeah, that’s exactly what I expected. But that isn’t really what this film is. Now, I am, obviously, not going to fault the film for not being exactly what I thought it would be, but it is really different from what the premise promised.

I didn’t like this film, but I really thought I would. I want to champion films like Rebirth, but this really isn’t a film I can recommend. And even though I didn’t react well to how odd the plot becomes, my biggest problems with the film lie with the performances and the characters.

Fran Kranz isn’t bad as Kyle, but he doesn’t really add a lot to a pretty unimpressive character. He isn’t that interesting, he isn’t that intelligent in the film, he’s basically just your audience surrogate. That’s all he is. Zack, the aforementioned old friend played by Adam Goldberg, is really fun to watch, on the other hand.

But one character I couldn’t stand was Naomi, played by Nicky Whelan. I’m sure Whelan was just doing what the writer-director was telling her to do, but she becomes absolutely infuriating, and it really hurts the film, the experience – everything. Infuriating. Insufferable. Unbearable. And it isn’t just her character, the film itself was infuriating from time to time.

Rebirth feels like a mixture of different ideas. While I’d probably ultimately call it a satire, I wasn’t always quite sure what the filmmakers were going for. Some times it feels deeply serious, other times it feels way more satirical. Rebirth sure is an experience, but not one I would consider revisiting anytime soon.

4.5 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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