‘Loophole’ (2019) | Film Review

By Alix Turner
Published: January 7, 2019 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
Loophole 2019 Film Review


Ignore the marketing. Loophole is religious fantasy masquerading as dystopian sci-fi, with nothing to recommend about it.

When the distribution company asked RSC to review Loophole, it was described as a sci-fi thriller. Could be exciting, I thought.

No. It was not exciting, barely even a sci-fi. So, Loophole‘s first mistake was in its marketing… More later.

Largely presented in flashback, Loophole is set in an alternative present where a gene has been discovered that predisposes its carriers to violence. That’s as far as the science goes in this fiction. Politicians propose to screen everyone and limit food supply just to those who are clear of this “Hamanaro Strand”, ostensibly to breed violence out of society. At this early stage in the film, it looked like it was going to become a cheap blend of Equilibrium and Minority Report (perhaps with a bit of The Purge thrown in).

Loophole follows a couple of student friends through the screening process. We don’t see what happens to carriers when identified, but it seems from the future scenes they’ve become kind of feral and anarchic. Then one of the students, Lexi (Chloe Lukasiak), is identified as special, and the remainder of the film focuses on her attempting to escape authorities, accompanied at times by her roommate and “watcher”.

Now, on top of the marketing, here follows a litany of other issues with Loophole:

For a start, there’s so much more talk than action, which no-one expects from a “sci-fi thriller”. Speeches, explanations, insult-fights and general exposition mean there is so much to listen to… And therefore some quality attention should have been made to the dialogue. But it’s poor; unless it was written by a sixth form student… Or maybe a Bible College student…

Yup, Loophole is actually a religious fantasy masquerading as a sci-fi thriller. Excuse me if this feels like a spoiler, but we guessed very early on that the gym-posing surfer-dude type (Deven Bromme) was an angel. I’m sure some people enjoyed The Left Behind, etc, but Loophole won’t reach them, because it’s marketed as sci-fi, rather than Christian/religious; and it will reach people like me instead (who will feel deceived or at least disappointed).

The sound quality was very patchy, as though sound engineers didn’t know what they were doing, or were using unreliable kit. Some of the dialogue was unclear, some too quiet. And in contrast, the occasional music was bold and clear; overdramatic, in fact, almost a parody of religious epic films.

The acting in Loophole was awful, across the board; laughable, in fact. Sometimes you can accept poor writing if the actor can carry it off, but I’m afraid that was not the case in this film. The only things that kept the cast afloat were enthusiasm and a large dressing-up box.

Loophole is decidedly the worst film I’ve watched for Ready Steady Cut; so poor I’m almost inclined not to give you the name of the person behind it. It was written and directed by Jenni Ivers, and I really hope she gets to work with some more experienced directors or producers, as this was clearly a labor of love. If she makes some better films, we can all look back at this one with a smile. Until then, I wouldn’t recommend watching Loophole at all.

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