Life Tracker (2012) – By Philip Smolen

Dillon Smith (Barry Finnegan) is a slacker documentary filmmaker with no real goals in life. He noodles around, going from one project to another, but never really accomplishes anything. He sees a small web news story about a company called Life Tracker which claims that with only a small drop of your blood (and therefore your DNA), they can predict most of the important events of your life including what days you’ll have sex, what diseases you will probably get, what major injuries you’ll suffer and how many children you’ll have. They can also predict when you will die, but the government will not allow them to release that data to any of their customers. Dillon, his best friend Scotty (Matt Dallas), and Scotty’s girlfriend Bell (Rebecca Marshall) begin filming the story of Life Tracker and after a while the company becomes big news. Soon, most of the world is going crazy over Life Tracker and eventually the government relents and allows Life Tracker to include the dates of death for their customers. Dillion, Scotty and Bell pool their money so they can each get Life Tracker reports. But the results are not what they hoped for. Bell’s report tells her that she will have three children, not with Scotty, but with Dillon! And both Dillon’s and Bell’s date of death is predicted for 2060, while Scotty’s is predicted for June 8, 2015, the same date that Life Tracker forecasts that 99% of the world’s population will perish!

How would knowing the day of your death change your life? That’s the simple question writer/director Joe McClean asks in his wondrous new sci-fi film “Life Tracker.” The film starts out slowly as we are introduced to Dillon and his friends, but after about 20 minutes, McClean begins to rev things up, and the movie doesn’t slow down until its emotionally shattering ending. The flick is a winner because McClean takes an apocalyptic event and focuses on its effect on three friends. It is only later that he shows you the world-wide effect of the Life Tracker prediction.

One of the best scenes in the movie is when Dillon, Scotty and Bell open up their Life Tracker reports and are confronted by their futures. They initially scoff at the report, until they each come across information that says that not all of their futures will be rosy and bright. Then their lives slowly begin to spin out of control, and there’s nothing they can do to stop it. It’s a masterful scene and McClean underscores it with an ominous and dark tone.

I was blown away by the cast. Matt Dallas, Rebecca Marshall and Barry Finnegan give standout performances and convincingly carry the film. I found myself willingly going along with them on their Life Tracker journey. The supporting cast is also excellent and features great bits from Ron Canada as a concerned scientist, Kimberly Adair as a TV talk show guest and Jay Thomas as the US Attorney General.

This is a solid sci-fi film, told with depth and intelligence. It has a simple premise, but it still manages to pack a tremendous emotional thump. “Life Tracker” is a mesmerizing and moving apocalyptic thriller.

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