Enhanced is one of those indie low-budget Science Fiction B thrillers that are the bread and butter of the movie business. It takes ideas from other movies, comic books, and TV shows and puts them in a blender to create a calling card for the director and stunt team.
If you've seen or read any X-Men, the plot seems familiar. Mutants with enhanced powers are hunted and experimented on by the government. One of the enhanced (Chris Mark) is hunting the rest and murdering them to absorb their power. One government agent (George Tchortov) has a crisis of conscience and teams up with a young enhanced (Alanna Bale) girl to stop him.
Director James Mark has choreographed stunts on movies like Shazam, Pacific Rim, and Scott Pilgrim. The cast consists of Canadian character actors who have appeared in plenty of Science Fiction movies and shows, usually shot in Canada. Marks directs with a clear efficiency and eye for storytelling. What makes a movie like Enhanced is the action scenes, and Mark knows where to point the camera, how to compose the best frame, and how to film a choreographed martial arts fight scene. He and his brother Chris Mark, who's also a martial artist, have a love of martial arts fights and stage them with some flare. All in all, Enhanced serves as a proof-of-concept and calling card for the Marks Brothers as a filmmaking team. They make the most of the low budget, letting the locations do most of the work with a minimum of CGI. The highlight of the movie are the martial arts fights led by Chris Mark.
The one missing element in Enhanced is a sense of pushing the envelope. The story and characters are all too conventional within the genre. The Mark Brothers should have used the opportunity to come up with something more eye-catching, bizarre, and surprising rather than generic. There's no surprise in the derivative elements of the plot. We've seen all these tropes and character types in hundreds of other genre pieces with no sense of chaos, unpredictability, or craziness that might have made the movie more memorable. As it is, it sets up the Mark Brothers as a filmmaking team who deserve a more interesting script in the future.
Enhanced is now on VOD.