Blow Up My Life
by Christie Robb
Blow Up My Life is a paint-by-numbers thriller/comedy telling the story of a Adderall-snorting computer programmer, Jason (Jason Selvig), who commits career suicide by live-streaming his alcohol and drug-fueled celebration after he wins an award for the new app he has created for his pharmaceutical company employers.
The app dispenses customized doses of medicine through a vape. Its goal is to step people down from an opiod addiction.
When Jason uncovers evidence that the company’s latest software update has altered the app, which is now causing consumers to get hooked on the vape (ensuring skyrocketing profits for the company), he decides to do some undercover work to expose the truth.
A first feature written and directed by Ryan Dickie and Abigail Horton, the movie is technically proficient and a sometimes laugh-out-loud funny take on the thriller genre. Filmed on a tight budget over 18 days during October of 2020 with a relatively small cast, the film manages to do a lot with few resources. Under those circumstances, the fact that it manages to get most of the numbers colored in is pretty remarkable.
However, the main characters are underdeveloped. So, when the screws are tightened and Jason finds himself running for his life, it’s difficult to summon the energy to truly care about his welfare. His cousin, the Black hacktivist “girl-in-the chair” Charlie (Kara Young), is also a lightly sketched character, but Young’s charisma helps the audience connect with her.
As many of these movies do, this one starts in the middle in one of those “So, I bet you’re wondering how I ended up here?” situations. Strangely though, it kind of ends in the middle as well. There’s no resolution. No payoff.
The screen just goes black, and there’s no need to wait around for an end credits scene. There isn’t one. It’s up to you to complete the final bits of the canvas in your imagination.