The Philosophers Review – Thought Experiment Thriller Is Extremely Bad | Movies
JOhn Huddles’ sci-fi thriller unintentionally manages to replicate the exact experience of playing “do you prefer?” with a friend in a pub, because it starts with vague philosophical questions but ends up being completely ridiculous. And just like the silly game, for good viewers, The Philosophers could be a pretty fun watch, despite making some mediocre movie making.
The film opens with a sweet love scene between Petra (Sophie Lowe) and James (Rhys Wakefield), shot with a terrible petroleum-like glow that plagues the entire cinematography of the film. Petra and James meet as part of a philosophy class that for some reason takes place in Indonesia – and yet most of the students are white. For the final class, their teacher Mr Zimit (James D’Arcy) offers a light role-play: he imagines an extreme situation where the students face an apocalyptic event and must decide who wins a place in the security bunker. Elements of science fiction come into play as the film sets these thought experiments in motion and features various scenic Indonesian locations.
While the premise is interesting enough and refreshing to see sci-fi elements used to visualize philosophical issues, The Philosophers, to be honest, is nonsense. Don’t expect to learn real philosophy here; these thought experiments favor random dramatic incidents over logical reasoning. The dialogue and the acting are also extremely bad; at one point, a character says, with a straight face, “We have to have a pregnancy as soon as possible.”
However, it is difficult to write this movie completely: it is fun to watch these students attempt to solve the different iterations of the experience over and over again, such as advancing through the stages of a video game. In the end, you might have a good time, in that proverbial way too bad.