MOVIE REVIEW: "LaMB" (2009)

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Review LaMB

It being summer and all the teachers being out of the high school I work at I’ve had the opportunity catch up on my movies and find new things while I’m working.  LaMB is one of the new things I’ve discovered (Hulu seems to be a veritable treasure trove for interesting independent scifi offerings), and it has an interesting premise.  Apparently humanity has trashed the Earth and has had to head out into space to find a new place to live, rather like Firefly and several other scifi movies, shows, stories.

The story of LaMB is based on the planet Cerra, a desert world that has so far laughed at humanity’s attempt to terraform it.  Because the environment on Cerra is so harsh and demanding, human labor is at a premium which has given rise to the process of lamination.  Instead of criminals being killed or imprisoned within walls, they are imprisoned within their bodies and enhanced so that they may be used as human androids for jobs that robots and the limited AIs are unable to accomplish. These prisoners are called LaMBs and each LaMB is assigned to a “sheppard” who is in charge of taking care and supervising them in their assigned tasks.  Humanity being humanity there is a difference of opinion concerning the enslavement of prisoners as a conscripted work force.

Our story follows a bio-technologist named Jack Griswald who, in running from the haunting death of his wife, comes to Cerra to discover a way to turn it green.  Upon having issues with his robot assistant, his governmental contact assigns him a LaMB as an assistant.  Coming from outside the culture of Cerra he has a hard time adapting to working with a human assistant who is not arguably completely human, so he tries to treat her the same way he would treat anyone else.

While buying clothes for the LaMB (designation Eve1135) because all LaMBs are initially only covered in a skin tight lamination, making them effectively naked; they are waylaid by a group of violent anti-lamination activist who are known colloquially as “wolves”.  Jack refuses to relinquish Eve due to a fear of what they would do to her and is in the process of being beaten when Eve steps in and defends them both until law enforcement arrives.

It turns out that Jack’s governmental contact is the ringleader of the “wolves” and the government was using him and Eve as bait to lure her out.  Jack learns that is actually a former government scientist named Sara Integra who was involved in a lab accident that killed two people; Jack’s government contact is actually Sara’s niece who was in the lab when the accident happened.  

While this is happening Jack’s former government contact is being laminated but breaks out and starts chasing Sara down.  Jack chases them down and is injured, but manages to incapacitate Keiko (Sara’s niece) when she attacks him.  Keiko proceeds to fall off the roof they are fighting on despite Sara’s attempt to save her.

We then fast forward to a green Cerra and Sara providing a voice over while she and Jack lay flowers on a memorial to Jack’s wife after apparently being released as from lamination.

Personally I really did enjoy the movie.  It is a little uneven and seems rushed (which it kind of is at 42 minutes) when you consider that the idea would have made a very worthwhile feature length film.  My only other problem I had with it was that because it was developed entirely in Flash which makes the action sequences seem to sputter; they’ll flow really well and then sort of stutter for a split-second.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS MOVIE?

I think so, in a very real way this movie is almost entirely choice versus blind obedience.  We are who we choose to be and we must live with those choices.  Keiko chooses to allow vengeance, anger and hate to lead her along a dark path that eventually ends her while Sara tries to come to terms with the accident and finds some semblance of happiness.

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