Chris Kavan's Movie Review of Kimi

Rating of


They're Always Listening - Make Sure You're Ready!
Chris Kavan - wrote on 02/16/22

A timely crimer/drama/thriller that sees Zoë Kravitz playing a shut-in, Angela Childs, after an incident at her former employer that has been worsened by the pandemic. She spends her days helping a tech company with their Alexa-like device known as Kimi - listening to real-world people and helping the device "learn" things like regional slang and insults. She also attempts to have some contact with a neighbor across the way - played by Byron Bowers - but is complicated by her problems leaving her apartment, though she is more than happy to invite him over for some casual sex now and then.

But her life is about to get much more complicated when she hears what sounds like an assault caught on audio. With the tech company about to go public, her pleas are heard by an exasperated middle-man before she is told to speak to one Natalie Chowdhury (Rita Wilson) but she has a hard time getting to her. In the meantime, she obtains a security key from mutual friend Yuri (and oft-drunk and totally misogynistic techie) and finds the entire conversation linked to the assault and learns, in horror, the man in charge of Kimi, Bradley Hasling (Derek DelGaudio) is responsible for not just the assault but probable murder. She finally has to leave the comfort she knows in order to bring all this information to light - but is about to come face to face with a bigger issue when she realizes those who are supposed to help her instead are working to quiet her... with extreme prejudice.

Steven Soderbergh does craft a tightly-wound little story - even if the ending is somewhat abrupt and a bit too nicely tied up in a bow. What the film does best is the capture our current state of affairs from protests to masking to smart devices listening to our every word to pandemic fatigue - all woven into the fabric of the tale. It's very easy to see thing taking place now and provides a good window into the 2020s perspective. Kravitz does a fine job in the lead as a woman obviously dealing with a heavy burden and when she's forced to face it - comes out on top. She does well being both vulnerable, smart and bad-ass as the story dictates.

On the other hand, aside from being very timely, the film itself is seems like a boilerplate crime/thriller. Things go about as you would expect and nothing really wows you during the course of the film. It's a fine way to spend an hour or so, but doesn't break the mold in any way.

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