Directed and co-written by Martin Grof, Sensation (2021) is a science fiction thriller that explores the limits of human ability with mutated DNA. In a time where superhero movies are plentiful, Sensation is a mellow version of these films that imbues more science into its premise, set at a research facility experimenting with human genetics and mind control.
The film follows Andrew Cooper (Eugene Simon), a man who is the only child of a single mother and eager to learn about his family history. After participating in a DNA study, Andrew is contacted by the Study Director, informed that he is special, and taken to a facility under the watchful eyes of Nadia (Emily Wyatt) and May (Jennifer Martin), who are also special. After explaining that his DNA allows him reality-altering capabilities, the group sets out to train and strengthen their abilities, however, Andrew soon finds that the training is more intense than expected as his irreality begins to affect his reality in dangerous ways.
Sensation may best be summarized as a poor man’s Split, The New Mutants, and even The Bourne Identity, using the all too familiar premise of hero-via-mutation and setting the story within a human research facility. I try very hard not to be overly critical, so I will not make it seem as though Sensation has no redeeming qualities, however, it is apparent that this movie is as cliched as they come, and there is no originality shown within its efforts to make the movie memorable or innovative in a genre already so gluttonous with films.
Sensation seems as though it is trying to be a Christopher Nolan film, but unlike a Christopher Nolan film, whose science checks out and eventually makes sense after a couple of viewings, Sensation struggles with coherency in both methodology and story, and its lack of action and character building does not inspire repeated viewings. Sensation is a copy and paste effort that shows Grof’s ability to produce a mainstream film, but it could use some creativity, and also a lot more shots cut into its action sequences to give those instances a more action-packed feel, rather than the almost comically subdued tone that was captured in the movie.
Sensation could have been as surreal as Inception and as action-packed as the Bourne movies, which is what it seemed to be going for, but it missed the mark on both fronts by quite a bit, and lands at mediocre, at best. From acting, to direction, to the story itself, everything about Sensation just felt uncannily familiar to so many other films, and unfortunately, it suffers from incoherence to boot, but at least its production quality is just as mainstream.