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Review: Muddled message in 'Silver Circle'

This eccentric diatribe set in a dystopic near-future has a lot on its Ron Paul-esque mind but lacks the means or finesse to present an even remotely persuasive case.

April 04, 2013|By Gary Goldstein
  • A scene from "Secret Circle."
A scene from "Secret Circle." (Handout )

What to make of "Silver Circle," with its low-rent animation, blunt antigovernment jabs and robotic dialogue? Directed by Pasha Roberts from a script by Steven Schwartz, this eccentric diatribe set in a dystopic near-future has a lot on its Ron Paul-esque mind but lacks the means or finesse to present an even remotely persuasive case. Call it echo chamber filmmaking.

It's 2019 in Washington, D.C., and the Federal Reserve ("the ultimate secret society!") is running the show. There's explosive inflation (a beer costs $110), homes can be forcibly seized from uncooperative owners and illegal tender — the silver circle coin — is being minted underground to replace now-useless paper money.

Amid this fear-mongering scenario, Jay Nelson (voiced by De'Lon Grant), an upright arson investigator in the Department of Housing Stability, becomes embroiled in a conspiracy pitting his boss, corrupt Fed Chairman Victor Brandt (Peter Berkrot), against a band of youthful rebels and silver circle purveyors led by Zoe Taylor (Philana Mia), a punkish pistol-packer with a score to settle.

There's plenty of action, some ping-ponging romance and even a bit of tension as "Silver Circle" spins its muddled tale. But it's all so overwhelmed by the rudimentary, computer-generated animation (characters don't so much walk as lurch and glide) that, well, the medium becomes the message.

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"Silver Circle." MPAA rating: PG-13 for violence, brief language, drug use and sensuality. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. At Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.

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