Agent Revelation


Reviewed by: Max Crawford

Agent Revelation
"The major problem with Agent Revelation is that it's a blatant author self-insert power fantasy."

Michael Dorn made enough money playing surly Klingon Worf, son of Mogh, that his post-Star Trek career has essentially comprised of roles that he thought would be fun and cool. Casting directors seek him out when they want someone to bring a sense of gravitas and credibility to a project, something he was even able to manage when voicing a cartoon weasel in a Cow And Chicken spinoff series called I Am Weasel.

He tries really, really hard in Agent Revelation.

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The major problem with Agent Revelation is that it's a blatant author self-insert power fantasy. Writer and director Derek Ting plays the cool action hero who develops superpowers when exposed to alien space dust that's somehow being used to enslave mankind. He's taken to a top secret lab to play high-stakes Laserquest to fill screen time until the inevitable showdown with the CGI villains.

If you're thinking "No, the major problem with Agent Revelation is that the plot is madder than a hatful of custard," you may be right. This film is not short of major problems. Approximately a quarter of the runtime is spent on these Laserquest training sequences where our hero gets to show off how good he is at shooting energy pellets at robots in a plywood maze. Shocked technicians recoil at their boss's command to increase the difficulty of the Laserquest ("Level three?! Are you sure?!") despite the fact that there are no negative consequences to the hero getting shot on account of it's Laserquest. That is, until one of the later scenes when the level gets turned up to fatal laserquest that will definitely kill you. Why such a setting exists in a training facility is never fully explained.

Just as things start getting completely pyjamas, the film brings in its big gun, Michael Dorn. He plays the role of Friendly Exposition Uncle, and this is his top secret Laserquest training facility. Dorn introduces another contender for The Major Problem With This Film by being an actual competent actor to contrast everyone else against. Dornless scenes become that much more of a chore by comparison, and it's a struggle to care about any of the soldiers/technicians/soldier-technicians running Fort Laserquest as they're completely undeveloped and effectively interchangeable.

This is the middle film of a planned trilogy, and attempts are made to get viewers up to speed with the events of the preceding instalment via a series of clumsy flashbacks. This hasn't worked at any point in the history of cinema and it doesn't work now. The experience of watching Agent Revelation is akin to switching on the Sci-Fi channel at 4am and finding a marathon of some obscure low-budget series halfway through and doing your best to stick with it even though you keep drifting in and out of consciousness and you're not sure at any given moment if you're actually dreaming. I've had a lot of fun doing exactly that, and in the right mindstate you could have a lot of fun watching Agent Revelation. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Reviewed on: 04 Feb 2021
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Agent Revelation packshot
A CIA agent gains the power to talk to aliens after coming into contact with an ancient dust used to control humans.

Director: Derek Ting

Writer: Derek Ting

Starring: Derek Ting, Michael Dorn, Kayla Ewell, Carole Weyers, Eve Mauro, Chris Reid

Year: 2021

Runtime: 86 minutes

Country: Hong Kong


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