Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Volition is a Sci-Fi thriller following a man named James as he tries to understand - and potentially change - his fate. James is gifted with clairvoyance (or future sight) that allows him to see into the future and typically does things like gambling with it. He spends time trying to adhere to the future he sees, not thinking he can change it. Quite frankly he’s just trying to get by and to some degree, he’s a relatable character that bases his decisions on what he thinks he knows will happen next. Seeing as there’s maybe less than 10 minutes that he isn’t on-screen, it’d be easy to think that you’ll be able to explore his character deeply. Oddly enough though the audience may feel like they’re just watching things happen to James instead of experiencing things with him. The last half hour and the brief glimpses into James’ childhood are prime examples, making the film feel slightly unnatural. Not being whisked away to another world when watching a movie isn’t the end all be all, but for how smart Volition is (and how much smarter it thinks it is), that can be a bit of a downer.
The clairvoyance and eventual time travel themes of Volition are very interesting in concept. It works well with the fact that the film takes place in one day, save for brief time travel moments. Having those elements could make for a fun story, and the gritty tone that Volition goes with does make it watchable, just not very enjoyable. It may be the mixed messages the film gives with a complete 180 happening at a certain point after establishing what the characters believe and what they don’t. But with some characters, it seems like their thoughts change several times with one character in particular causing extreme detriment to James.
Volition is impressive in its story, but not its storytelling. Sticking to one central idea and having it make sense rather than finding a way to break the rules that are established would have made for a more solid film. The ending would have been bleaker, but the film would be better for it. There are some twists that take place and nods to prior events that were neat to see, but they don’t elevate Volition to the greatness it could’ve attained.
Now Available on Apple TV, Prime Video, and other digital platforms