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Advantageous (2015) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Jennifer Phang.  •  Starring: Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim, Troi Zee, Olivia Horton, Jennifer Ikeda, Mercedes Griffeth, Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris, Theresa Navarro, Rex Lee.  •  Music by: Timo Chen.
        The story concerns Gwen, a spokeswoman for a cutting-edge biotech firm, who considers a dangerous, breakthrough technology that is the only hope for a better life for her daughter. The story takes place at a tipping point in artificial intelligence and neuroscience and speculates on the impact of a *singularity on the future of the lives of women and girls.


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Image from: Advantageous (2015)
Image from: Advantageous (2015)
Image from: Advantageous (2015)
Image from: Advantageous (2015)
Image from: Advantageous (2015)
Image from: Advantageous (2015)
Image from: Advantageous (2015)
The heroine, Gwen, is a spokesperson for a company that has invented a way to transfer a person's mind or consciousness into an artificial body. These bodies are, of course, healthy, young-looking, and attractive. The company advertises this as a solution for physical handicaps, and of course people who are getting old and losing their good looks, or who never were that good-looking, can be young and handsome or pretty.

Then the company pressures Gwen to get one of these artificial bodies herself, because (a) she can then present herself as a satisfied customer; and (b) she's middle-aged, and they want a face that is young and pretty. Gwen doesn't want to do this because she feels she would be losing her identity.

I don't think any of what I've just said is a spoiler. This all happens early in the movie and it's the premise for what follows. In fact -- and here's the big problem I have with this movie -- I think it would be almost impossible to write a spoiler for this movie, because nothing really happens. There's only one real "revelation" in the movie, and I thought it was pretty obvious, doesn't really change things that much. And one decision for the heroine to make: will she cave in and get the artificial body or not. And I won't say any more there to avoid spoilers.

What this movie is really about is discussing how society only values women for their physical appearance and how women are pressured to conform. In my opinion, the message is repeated so often and is so heavy-handed that it just got tedious. It's not a story with social commentary. It's social commentary with a thin veneer of a story.

Even the basic point the movie is trying to make gets muddled by side issues. The story starts out with the company's plan apparently being that they will fire her, then spread nasty rumors about her so she can't get a job anywhere else, so she'll have no choice but to come and beg for her old job back, and then they can tell her they'll hire her back only if she agrees to get the new body. This seems to me to be a rather dumb plan. Why didn't they start out by just asking her to do it? Maybe she would have enthusiastically agreed, and they would have gotten what they wanted without alienating their own employee. Why not make demands before firing her? What would they have done if they fired her and, despite their rumor campaign, she had gotten another job? I hate movies where people do something stupid for no apparent reason. They also throw in a side line about how the artificial bodies experience minor but constant pain. This adds a negative that just distracts from the theme of beauty and identity.

Oh, and there's a curious sub-plot about how her mother disapproves of her for having an affair. We're clearly supposed to see the mother as being narrow-minded and judgmental. Then they show us how much unhappiness the affair caused her, the man, and the man's wife. So we as the audience are apparently supposed to see the affair as a bad thing -- but her mother was narrow-minded and judgmental for saying it was a bad thing. I didn't quite get the point there.

The movie DOES raise an interesting question: If you could get a young, healthy, strong, good-looking body, would you do it? Or would you see it as taking away your identity. Personally, as an old man with medical problems, sure I'd do it, assuming I could afford it and there were no side effects. I thought that was a no-brainer, but when I asked my daughter she said she wouldn't. So there might actually be an interesting philosophical question in there.

Review by jayj-17577 from the Internet Movie Database.