RISE is a breathtaking dystopian saga featuring one of the final onscreen performances of late actor Anton Yelchin.
Created and directed by filmmaker David Karlak, the short film depicts a future where androids have gained consciousness, as well as emotional cognition. They become known as "sentients."
Fearful of their rapid evolution, humanity ostracizes the sentients. Tension erupts into all out war after a sentient kills a human being in self-defense.
"Technology stepped over the line."
A sentient leader named Basil (Yelchin) is captured by human military forces led by a Colonel Briggs (portrayed by veteran character actor Rufus Sewell).
Despite Basil's assertions to the contrary, Briggs believes the sentients are not truly alive, and must be eliminated due to the threat he perceives they pose to humanity.
However, Basil issues a dire proclamation to Briggs: the sentients will not be easy targets for eradication.
RISE is gorgeous and gripping from beginning to end. Watching it, you feel swept into a fully realized, dark world of technological wonders, paranoia, and danger.
What makes this such an impressive feat is the short's total run time is slightly under five minutes!
Within that brief time frame, the visual effects and stunning cinematography lend the project a sense of immensity and scope usually reserved for big-budget, blockbuster movies.
It was not surprising to learn RISE was created as proof-of-concept for a full-length feature. Given what is already on display, I would love to revisit this world in a movie version or TV series in order to see its themes painted on a much larger canvas.
However, any such iteration would feel somewhat incomplete due to the tragic loss of star Anton Yelchin. Watching him as Basil knowing it is one of his final performances is very bittersweet.
Yelchin was a brilliant young actor, and this performance cements his legacy as being a singular talent and presence. He is dearly missed.
Rufus Sewell is another highlight. He brings his trademark mix of charisma and menace to the role of Colonel Briggs.
His dynamic with Yelchin is electric, providing the short with an undeniable gravitas and fiery emotional core.
Watch RISE in its entirety here ...
To discover more about the production of this extraordinary short, visit the film's official website: ConceptRise.com.
RISE is a striking, ambitious, and compelling dystopian saga that will leave its searing impression on you long after it ends.