The idea of multiple universes, multiple realities, multiple “outcomes” to life and our existence gets a sleep-inducing workout in “Expulsion,” a no-budget thriller about scientists who DIY a teeny tiny Haldron Collider in a desert Southwest garage.
Indifferently-acted, with funereal pacing and (high school) student film action, the viewer has five minutes to catch up with its introductory premise, and spends the next 90 minutes two or three steps ahead of this clunky, obvious and dull screenplay.
Scott (Colton Trap) almost manages a convincing “WooHoo” after his “Eureka!” moment. His garage-built gadget has given him a portal, a first glimpse into another universe.
It doesn’t matter that his research partner Vince (Aaron Jackson, also the film’s co-writer/director) declared that “two people (have to be) present at all experiments.” As some discussed when the Large Hadron Collider at CERN first fired up, there is this risk of “destroying the planet” when you go around “smashing God Particles.”
It doesn’t matter that their “real” research, trying to develop safe cryonic storage of bodies that might be revived at a future date for the Cicero Corp, has taken a back seat. Cicero will provide them the power to properly give their portal a test.
And it really doesn’t matter that strange things start happening as they test it — cryptic warnings, a mysterious assassin, a colleague (Robert F. Glass) whom they see shot and killed, but who shows up for work the next day.
It isn’t until Scott breaks that “both of us have to be here” rule again that he gets a whiff of the “expulsion” theory, which posits that you and your doppelganger from a parallel universe can’t interact or you’ll go “poof.”
The fact is that the movie doesn’t pick up after that. It never properly gets on its feet, and the zero-heat performances just smother whatever ideas this comic book idea of a term paper script throws out there.
Stay in this universe. Watch a different movie. Ever seen “Primer?” Rent that instead.
MPA Rating: unrated, violence, sexuality
Cast: Colton Trapp, Aaron Jackson, Rosalie Fisher, Lar-Park Lincoln, Robert F. Glass.
Credits: Written and directed by Aaron Jackson, Sean C. Stephens. An American Pop release.
Running time: 1:40