One of the most interesting things a filmmaker can do for their project, as well as the audience, is creating a unique world for the story and characters to inhabit. This can be anything from just one small change that has a greater impact on the world as a whole, introducing an assassin robot to Los Angeles in Terminator, or creating a brand new world with its own set of rules, something completely alien that the world has never seen. One thing for certain is that it is not cheap to create a world and The Tangle boldly decides to slightly alter our world but goes all out in its lore and does it with an impressively modest budget.
In the distant future, a group of scientists have done something that humanity could only have ever dreamed about, complete unity and peace. Few would have guessed that this would be through artificial intelligence and billions of nanobots encompassing the globe connecting every being on the planet but it was the only way. However, some of the founders of this utopia have decided to stay off the grid for some concerns that have just come true. They believe that the A.I. is responsible for the death of one of the founders and they have only a short amount of time to discover the truth.
When it comes to the lore of The Tangle it is incredibly dense while implementing a very “tell don’t show” approach with the storytelling. A majority of the film takes place in a “safe room” that exists outside of the tangle’s influence so the founders have free reign to interrogate their suspect. It comes across as a backdrop to the murder mystery plot but it adds so much intrigue to the story, almost creating an entire second level to the mystery.
Where the lore gets in the way of the experience though is in the dialogue and some of the character performances. One of the characteristics of the “safe room” is that it is furnished with only pre computers technology, creating a mid-century modern aesthetic. This is then further explored with the two characters that live there acting in the appropriate personalities of the time period, including but to a lesser degree the cadence of talking and style. This is fun and gives The Tangle a very unique feel, but it makes much of the lore and backstory come off as pretentious and hard to follow with the style of talking feeling so rushed.
While the lore can be overly dense and the dialogue a bit too wordy, these are the elements that make The Tangle such an interesting experience. The story weaves a tale of a future that could be a utopia to some and a dystopia to others leading to many conversations with friends and views about their place in this world. Well worth a watch and leaves many other exciting avenues for a possible sequel or similar story. If anything it is clear the filmmakers all have interesting visions that will make their next projects worth seeking out.
7 out of 10