Empathy Inc. (2018)

Venture capitalist Joel is dealing with the end of his last company. He’s had to be the scapegoat for the lies that his partner told and his name is known nationwide as a swindler. He and his actress wife Jessica have to start over from the bottom — living with her parents. But when Joel’s life is at his lowest, he discovers that he may be able to reinvent himself.

Written by Mark Leidner and directed by Yedidya Gorsetman, this black and white tale of virtual reality gone wrong surprised me with how deep and brutal it could be.

When Joel meets old friend Nicolaus and his business partner Lester, he learns about Empathy, Inc.’s product – Xtreme Virtual Reality. It takes its users and allows them to be inside the lives of the poor and homeless. But the truth is, they’re actually taking over the lives of real people and the choices they make have deadly results.

The line where one of the villains says, “It’s the best feeling ever to CENSOR yourself?” That’s crazy but brilliant writing. This raises some big ideas and delivers on them. I’ve never seen a body switch movie before where that happens.

Empathy Inc. will be released in theaters on September 13 and VOD September 24.

DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie by its PR company, but that no bearing on our review.

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