Movie Review: Kimi

Jay and I watched the new Steven Soderberg movie, Kimi, on HBO Max this past weekend. Starring Zoë Kravitz and featuring Rita Wilson, Erika Christensen, Devin Ratray, and Byron Bowers, Kimi is a thriller written by David Koepp, the screenwriter behind Jurassic ParkMission: ImpossibleSpider-Man (the Tobey Maguire one), Panic Room, Death Becomes Her, etc. Kimi is set during the mid-to-late-COVID era. It’s centered around an agoraphobic remote worker named Angela (Kravitz) who monitors errors in the voice commands of “KIMI” units, a fictionalized version of Alexa or Siri. One of her error message logs reveals a woman (Christensen) in distress and naturally, Angela becomes concerned and wants to get to the bottom of it. Mystery follows! Danger ensues!

And, beyond this point, *minor* plot *spoilers* will also ensue.

I liked Kimi but there were a lot of flaws. For instance, the first 50ish minutes of the 90-minute film was basically just Angela not leaving the house and being cold to anyone who expressed concern for her (mom, therapist, boyfriend, etc.). We don’t learn why she won’t leave the house until a one-sentence explanation later on in the movie, but even then, we’re still not sure why what happened to her has prevented her from leaving. We learn that fear of catching Covid-19 is an exacerbating factor and we plainly see that she’s mentally and emotionally unwell but that’s basically it.

Once the action starts, things pick up and get really good. Buzz McCallister becomes a bigger character, presumably to break up the action a little bit as Angela plays Home Alone and to rep the nerdy white creepers with hero fantasies contingency. I just wish that the second part of the movie had been longer. It felt like it – and the movie – was over too quickly. I could have easily eaten up another 10-15 minutes and trimmed the fat off of the slower portions in the beginning. Or, maybe I feel like that because the beginning was so slow and it needed more of a middle portion. That said, I do appreciate that we didn’t get hit over the head with a drawn-out explanation as to why the bad guy is the bad guy. It’s set up very brieflym and you have to piece it together (not a difficult task), but it’s done smoothly.

Kimi is worth an at-home watch if you’re into the genre. To her credit, Kravitz does a great job making us not hate Angela and really captures that sense of panic and urgency during the portion when she’s being pursued. I’m glad we watched it. It’s not a masterpiece but I think if the latter half came on TV one day (hypothetically), I’d keep watching, haha. If you’ve seen it, let me know what you thought!

Rating: 3/5

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