Speed of Life Image

Speed of Life

By Bradley Gibson | January 9, 2020

When he returns, he brings the spark back that she’d been missing for all those years and it re-invigorates her interest in life. She remembers who she was and who she was meant to be. Edward, in 2040, however, has far more in common with Laura (Vella Lovell), June’s friend’s daughter, than he ever did with June at any age. 

As far is invoking Bowie goes, the film leaves the viewer wondering where that concept evaporates. As the movie begins, we see a teen version of June in her early days of connecting with his music, dressing as Bowie, making herself up with the blue and red lightning bolt slash from Aladdin Sane.  Then Bowie dies, Edward disappears, and from that point on, Bowie is never mentioned again. None of his music is used in the film (one assumes because of budget constraints). 

It’s worth noting also that 60 is not particularly considered “old.” With constant advances in medicine, nutrition, fitness, and longevity research, it seems likely that by 2040, it’ll still just be middle age. Trundling people off to the old folks home at 80, perhaps, would make more sense? 

“…Ray Santiago as Edward. His electric, uplifting presence saves the film…”

Nitpicking the details of the situation and the characters is wrong-headed, but there’s not much more to the film than this. Obviously, the narrative is meant as a cautionary tale on the hazards of forgetting what you were passionate about when you were young.

The entire enterprise would come across maudlin and flat if not for the energy of Ray Santiago as Edward. His electric, uplifting presence saves the film from being a dreadful bore. You may know Santiago from his role in the Starz TV show Ash V Evil Dead, where he played Pablo, right-hand man to Bruce Campbell’s. Bumbling idiot “El Jefe” Ash Williams. Pablo took the brunt of the evil as well as Ash’s constant inappropriate jokes about him being Mexican (the character is Puerto Rican, as is the actor). 

There is no more stark reminder of mortality than the deaths of one’s heroes. Bowie seemed a steady reference point in a chaotic world, and at age 69, he was taken far too soon. Speed of Life reminds us that the art of our idols, the fire, and the passion, survive the artist and that their immortality is you keeping that fire burning. 

Speed of Life (2020)

Directed and Written: Liz Manashil

Starring: Ray Santiago, Ann Dowd, Kimball Farley, Laura Holliday, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Speed of Life Image

"…a world so fractured by Bowie's death that the fabric of spacetime is torn..."

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