A controversial global game developer, Sentinel, have a brand new game and its beta is ready to be tested by video game champion Max Troy (Lorenz Tate). It's a new immersive experience never done before but as events unfold within the game, Max soon realises the same events have been happening in reality and he actually has control over a real life person. What could possibly go wrong? Max's conscience, for one thing, Orson Creed is another. Played by Manu Bennett (Arrow, The Hobbit), Creed is the game's protagonist and an ex-employee of Sentinel, who have forced him against his will to do a series of challenges.
Creed is a military man with previous combat experience but now his own creation for Sentinel is being used against him. Bennett does an excellent job at playing the husky-voiced protagonist hell bent on destroying Sentinel and saving his wife. Known for his portrayal of Slade Wilson in Arrow, Bennett really gives Beta Test star value with his deliverance of inappropriate one-liners and an overall brooding presence which makes this a lively and fun watch.
You can see where the budget has come to a halt, preventing them from taking it that one step further to making a blockbuster action flick which it definitely has the potential for. Despite that, the special effects and stunt team have done a great job respectively with video game features and action sequences that have great choreography. The transition from reality to video game is particularly impressive and has a similar style to A Scanner Darkly.
Beta Test gives us a joyride with a compelling concept proving video games is a genre that really can work in film. Although the production value and camera work may be sketchy in places, it's still an entertaining action thriller with a great cast. Writer and director Nicholas Gyeney has created a story that video gamers and action movie fans will most certainly enjoy.
BETA TEST / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: NICHOLAS GYENEY / SCREENPLAY: NICHOLAS GYENEY, ANDRÉ KIRKMAN / STARRING: MANU BENNETT, LORENZ TATE, LINDEN ASHBY, KEVON STOVER, SARA COATES / RELEASE DATE: TBC