A group of young scientists are working on a secret project that may allow them to travel ahead in time. They test it by sending one of their own ahead one hour. He returns pleading with ... See full summary »
"Listening" is a character study that is driven by a sci-fi plot line and is dragged down by unpleasant characters and some confusion. The story involves David and Ryan, two graduate students who are working on creating a device that allows mental telepathy. Instead of explaining this to their professor and working on this potentially historical invention as their thesis with the full backing of the university, they decide - for reasons never explained - to steal a bunch of equipment and hole up in the garage of David's house that he rents with his wife and daughter.
One day, Ryan brings over Jordan, a smoking hot girl he picked up who just also happens to be a brilliant scientific grad student as well. With her assistance, they make a huge breakthrough. However, the amount of time they spend working on the device causes problems with their personal lives and the invention itself has caught the eye of the CIA...
Make no mistake -- "Listening" is not a horror film, it's not really a sci-fi film, it's not really a "warning" film about "Would you want telepathy?" It is about David and Ryan, and everything else is just the conflict these two have to face. But this one fails because of that. The two characters are eminently unlikable, and they make incomprehensible choices and decisions at every single step. Huge questions are put forth and never answered. For example, Jordan has an ability that seems to violate every rule, and when she is asked about this incredibly valuable skill, she dismisses the question and it's never brought up again. It's never explained why the CIA would be so interested, since the covert government program seems to be something very different from what David and Ryan are doing.
The acting is solid, the directing and photography is clean and professional, but I just can't say I enjoyed it enough to recommend. Perhaps that's because I was drawn in by the marketing campaign promising a sci-fi extravaganza.
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