Ascendant has nothing to do with the TV series based on the Divergent franchise which, if you’ll remember, was cancelled back in 2018. It’s the debut feature from Australian director Antaine Furlong, who also co-wrote the script with Keiron Holland, and is an indie sci-fi thriller about a young woman forced into a sadistic experiment with the aim of uplifting her… in more ways than one.
Charlotte Best (Tidelands) stars as a young woman who wakes up trapped inside the high-speed elevator of a skyscraper, with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or what’s going on. In a sadistic effort to extract a secret they believe she holds, her kidnappers start repeatedly raising and dropping the lift in order to terrify her into revealing the secret, but little do they realise that the fear and stress will unlock something far more powerful than anyone could imagine.
The official plot synopsis is as follows:
Kidnapped and held hostage in a high-speed elevator in a 120-floor building in Shanghai, Aria Wolf has no memory of her past, who her captors are, or what they want from her. Pushed to her limits, she begins to realise she has incredible powers within, kept secret to protect her and her family. Now, unlocking these powers is her only chance to save both herself and her father.
Let’s take a look:
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for indie sci-fi movies because sometimes, even with their low budgets, often questionable acting, or poor direction, you can unearth a gem – and based on this trailer I think Ascendant has the potential to be one of those gems. I really like what I see of Best’s performance, the villain doesn’t sound like an overacting campy moron, and the direction, special effects, and CGI don’t look half-bad either. It reminds me a bit of Luc Besson’s Lucy, so I’m curious to see how this turns out.
What do you think?
Ascendant is due for release in Australian theatres on 8 April, and will hopefully see an international release later in the year. It also stars Jonny Pasvolsky, Alex Menglet, Andrew Jack, Susan Prior, Lily Stewart, and Tahlia Sturzaker.
Last Updated: February 3, 2021