In his latest cinematic venture since being acquitted of sexual assault charges, Kevin Spacey takes a unique step towards redemption in a peculiar British indie film. In this low-budget thriller, Spacey assumes the role of a sardonic GPS with a vengeance, seeking to mete out punishment for others’ sexual misdeeds.
The film unfolds as a compelling single-location cat-and-mouse thriller, reminiscent of recent Liam Neeson endeavors such as “Retribution.” An astute move by the filmmakers was creating a character that Spacey could effortlessly bring to life in a studio anywhere worldwide. While Spacey’s velvety voice adds a touch of intrigue, it struggles to salvage the film from its wooden execution and sporadic moments of insanity.
Set in a future world shaped by technological advancements, we find ourselves in the company of a besuited man identified as the “British Prime Minister David Addams.” Delivering a speech in an oddly inexpensive venue, he emphasizes the paramount importance of privacy. However, a series of indiscreet and explicit dialogues inadvertently reveal his passionate affair with the home secretary, Stella Simmons.
The narrative takes a turn when Stella, tasked with driving the Prime Minister’s drowsy teenage daughter home in a cutting-edge driverless car, loses control of both the vehicle and her life. The unmistakable voice of Kevin Spacey taunts her online, veering between sarcasm and a faux Cockney accent. As the film unfolds, the audience is left to ponder Spacey’s character’s identity, motivations, and the desire to re-enter the world of cinema.
Spacey’s venture into playing a menacing voice isn’t unprecedented, having previously lent his vocal talents to Duncan Jones’s sci-fi film “Moon” in 2010. In that instance, the character’s complexity added depth to the storyline. Whether “Control” will attain cult status or inspire a remake remains uncertain, but Spacey’s detached and jaded presence does little to propel his supposed comeback.