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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Review: The Unhealer


Director: Martin Guigui

Screenplay: Kevin E. Moore and J. Shawn Harris

Year: 2021

Kelly is a young teenager who is bullied for his compulsive eating disorder. After a failed attempt to heal a health problem, Kelly receives a mysterious power that allows him to heal himself and reverse any damage caused to him to his perpetrator. When the group of young people who have harassed him all his life play a prank that affects one of his loved ones, Kelly decides to use his powers to get revenge on all of them.

With a poster that is a blatant copy of the art of the "Star Wars" movies, one would expect "The Unhealer" to follow a kind of sci-fi style at least similar to that of these movies. Nothing is further from reality. While his poster leads you to think of galactic science fiction, the film’s plot by director Martin Guigui (“9/11”) is rather based on the culture of the Native American Indians and their healing abilities. 

The screenplay by rookie writers Kevin E. Moore and J. Shawn Harris demonstrates their inexperience from the first minute, and their problems deepen as the plot progresses. Especially the characters seemed problematic to me since they are nothing more than exaggerated stereotypes, and it is difficult to be interested in them or at least that they seem credible. Added to this lack of experience is that of special effects artists, whose work is not bad, but they are not realistic either, and at all times, you are aware that it is makeup.

From the opening scene, we can see that the performances will not be his greatest strength. This is evident with the healer, who is the first character we see, but it turns out that this is not the worst of the interpretations and that things get much worsen. Fortunately, the leads put on decent performances for most of the duration, though they have their questionable moments. 

The script of "The Unhealer" seems to want to carry a social message, which eludes the viewer by the defective way it is presented. The first of these issues is a compulsive eating disorder, also known as pica, which, apart from being the source of bullying, does not have much more importance. In a certain part of the story, they try to do it as an essential part of Kelly's revenge, [erp comes so unexpectedly and with so little explanation that it doesn't work as it should. The other of these issues is bullying, which they resolve when the protagonist gains powers that give him an advantage over his attackers and he becomes the bully; not exactly the best social message.

"The Unhealer" is a collection of good ideas horribly tied together, with a script that features flawed dialogue, an incoherent plot, and weak characters accompanied by poor acting. The subject of compulsive eating disorder (pica) is an interesting idea, but one that has already been worked on in a much better way in "Swallow". 

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