In the pulse-pounding Spanish thriller “Awareness,” director Daniel Benmayor delivers a mind-bending mashup of Inception, Scanners, The Fury, and The Matrix. Set in a world where cold war spies were genetically engineered to project illusions, the story follows 18-year-old Ian (Carlos Scholz), a renegade with inherited psychic powers. His parents, known as Perceivers, were part of a unique breed capable of creating illusions with their minds, a skill that becomes Ian’s greatest asset.
Ian’s life takes a dangerous turn when he becomes the target of sinister forces eager to exploit his extraordinary abilities. Enter Adriana (Lela Loren), an operative from the Agency, who warns him about the nefarious Awareness group, controlling politicians from the shadows. Amidst the chaos, the film introduces intriguing characters like the enigmatic Emma Peel-style secret agent (María Pedraza) and a fellow Perceiver (Óscar Jaenada) with an air of mystery.
While “Awareness” doesn’t shy away from its influences, the movie’s fast-paced narrative keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Layering double-crosses, alternate realities, and implanted memories, the film weaves a complex web of intrigue. However, as the plot thickens, the absence of emotional depth becomes apparent, making the relentless gunplay feel somewhat monotonous.
Nevertheless, the film finds its emotional core in Ian’s quest to find his long-lost mother. This journey takes him deep into the recesses of his own mind and others, adding a sliver of heartache amidst the chaos. Among the movie’s highlights are moments of brilliance, like a teenager engrossed in a first-person shooter game, blissfully unaware of the real-life skirmish happening behind him.
In “Awareness,” director Daniel Benmayor expertly balances action-packed sequences with mind-bending twists, offering audiences a thrilling cinematic experience. While the film may borrow from its predecessors, its unique Spanish flavor and inventive storytelling make it a must-watch for fans of mind-bending thrillers.