WW4 – Rise and Fall of the New World Order (2010) – By James Dubbeldam

WW4 – Rise and Fall of the New World Order is a 9 minute short film written and directed by B.A. Brooks. The film starts off with a recorded message from a “survivor”, asking us (the viewer) if we are going to stand up and fight, or die.

Present day is 2026. We’re told the story of how the world ended up in its current state, and as you can guess by the title, not great at all. While the narration unfolds the terrible events of humanities doomed fate, we witness a group of four armed and dangerous survivors navigating various settings and ultimately how they live.

The causes of the devastating state the world is in is linked to present day events (our present day), making it believable and realistic as it escalates. As we all could guess, the world eventually begins to fight over fresh water supplies.  Most of the film is spent explaining what has happened with our survivors in the background as examples of “modern” life. Which gets confusing as to what the main focus of the film is.

Primarily we witness well thought out footage of everything spoken about, showing what the world and people have been through. The footage itself is good, most of the shots are believable and real, being used in a way the viewer can understand the story and get into the events occurring.  But after a while, it begins to feel like a documentary. With the narration and random footage you wonder what the story is actually about, and why there are these characters who we keep seeing- who just don’t do much. There’s no dialogue at all between them.

By the four minute mark the narration has grown tiring and I began looking for the story. Narration can only hold you for so long and eventually any viewer will begin to pick it apart. Especially if it is not tightly written. By that point I began to ask myself, ‘what is this film about?’

It’s an intriguing idea, but I’m not sure what exactly it is or what I was watching. There were some issues which didn’t help the viewer staying engaged, granted they weren’t huge issues, but just the same almost every viewer can see when an actor is holding a gun wrong. Or questioning why one character is wearing all white when trying to blend into a forest setting. You see my point.

The film grows and develops, but when action scenes are introduced to further the plot and they are cheesy and basic- it’s difficult to take them or the film seriously at that point. Especially when the sound effects interfere with the narration.  I kept asking myself, ‘when was WW3 again?’. I almost felt stupid. But maybe I was thinking too much.

The story/narration comes to an end eventually and the credits roll. I was confused. But the film isn’t done. There’s more. Luckily I kept watching.  After the credits there’s a video message blaming everyone else for what happened (not taking any blame himself), obviously from the viewpoint of one of the “rich” who have ultimately caused the problem from the beginning. Why? I’m not sure.

Then there are more video messages. But I was already too confused by that point to understand. I thought the film was done!  After one shot ends with a hip hop track, I think I had completely lost my way through this project. It just didn’t fit together.  But yet it wasn’t over. One of the “main” characters appears for another message, this time positive. Then it ended. For real this time. Overall, I like the idea of this film. I think there was and could be a solid film there crossing a documentary style film with a narrative. I just don’t think it worked very well in this case. It wasn’t terrible, it just didn’t work for me.

It’s worth checking out if you want to see something different.