Ever since I was a little kid, I've always been fascinated by science fiction films that involve the
known reality that we all live and breathe in today. From CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND to CHILDREN OF MEN, looking at an alternate reality of the present or near future has always fascinated me and the big question of "What if?". For that reason, LIFE TRACKER had a big impact on me because not only did it move me but it also made me ponder the philosophical questions of "Would I want to know when I die?" or "Would mankind benefit from something like this?". LIFE TRACKER is a story which takes place during the present where one man's dream and scientific study combined have unlocked our DNA code and given us the ability to see into our future and what it possibly holds for us. Questions of what diseases we might contract, injuries, who we'll have our children with, when we'll die and many more are answered through these DNA "prints".
There's another incredible science fiction film that released all the way back in 1997 that you all might remember called GATTACA starring Ethan Hawke and Jude Law which was about a dystopian future where our DNA dictates how our lives will progress, what jobs we'll be fit for, what we'll most likely die of, etc. Our DNA was even alterable in the story to remove any faults but the main antagonist of the story was born naturally and defied the system to achieve his dream of space flight. This privilege was reserved only for the most elite of human specimens. The reason I bring this film up is because I almost see LIFE TRACKER as an amazing prequel story to GATTACA or an alternate and more real-life take on the subject of our own DNA affecting how we live and the decisions we make. Watching these two one after another would be an amazing experience that I'm sure I'll be doing pretty soon.
The story of LIFE TRACKER is told in a documentary style where our lead character Dillon Smith (Barry Finnegan) is attempting to make a change in his life by creating a documentary in California that chronicles the birth and development of Life Tracker Limited who supply the prints to citizens based on their DNA and personal information submitted. Dillon isn't very sure of himself at first because he's left so many things unfinished in his life but his strength and drive comes from close friends that he lives in an apartment complex with. The story for the most part focuses on Dillon, his friend Scott Orenhauser (Matt Dallas) and Scott's girlfriend Bell Osbourne as we watch their relationship go through many hurdles as the documentary filming progresses. This for me was a very powerful aspect of LIFE TRACKER as firstly the three leads did an incredible job acting wise and made the predicaments very believable which I won't spoil in this review. I believed their reactions to the Life Tracker Limited prints for themselves but also surprised at the same time as while some reactions could have been very clichéd, the writing never went there and that made the film very refreshing.
What I love the most about LIFE TRACKER though is the attention to detail especially when it came to the political and religious implications of such a technology being unleashed on modern-day society cause lets face it, humanity isn't ready for something like that nor do I think it ever will be. All of this being told through the documentary work of Dillon as he inter-cuts news media from the internet, his own interviews with those with a particular expertise and so on. I must applaud directorwriter Joe McClean and his production crew for putting together excellent material for this independent film and for making sure that no detail be missed including news footage, graphics, etc. The interviews that Dillon has with religious experts, medical professionals and just ordinary folks in the streets were terrifically executed and this was helped greatly by a very well thought out script.
Once everything is said and done though, the strongest aspect that anyone would expect from a film like this is the human emotions and reactions of the lead characters which as I mentioned were very strong and believable. As I watched the film, I put myself in their shoes and thought to myself "Oh man, they shouldn't know this information!" or "I would probably react the same way." and to me those kind of films are special. This is the reason why so many larger found-footagedocumentary style films of late don't work for me like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY while LIFE TRACKER does because the reactions of the characters aren't there just to serve the plot, they actually feel real and we can relate to them.
LIFE TRACKER makes you think and and to me there's no better kind of film. It takes the current state of humanity and mixes in this life- changing technology with results that I believe would be pretty much spot-on if Life Tracker was actual real today. From the politicalfinancialreligious unrest to personal doubt and beliefs, LIFE TRACKER covers it all and even leads to a great conclusion that I wasn't prepared for. All of this combined makes LIFE TRACKER one of my favorite films of 2013 and I highly recommend it to everyone. Congratulations to all the cast and crew who have a bright future ahead.
Review by bosworth-nick from the Internet Movie Database.