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By Kyle Bain | February 22, 2022

Streamline, written and directed by Tyson Wade Johnston, is a story of passion, love, family, and perseverance. Well, it’s supposed to be.

Benjamin Lane (Levi Miller) is a swimming prodigy at just fifteen years old. He’s on his way to becoming an Olympian thanks to his hardworking mother (Laura Gordon) and coach (Robert Morgan). However, when his father (Jason Isaacs) is released from prison, Benjamin’s life begins to spiral out of control.

Streamline never settles into itself, and I’m not sure it really knows what it is. Is this a film about swimming, tenacity, family, and overcoming hardship? The fact that the film isn’t sure either is a massive turnoff. There is a lot of content shoved into an hour-and-twenty-minutes, but everything is constantly stepping on top of everything. This causes nearly every aspect to fail as a result. Ultimately the drama feels too crowded, and I was lost throughout the shuffle.

“…when his father is released from prison, Benjamin’s life begins to spiral out of control.”

Much like the narrative, the cinematography leaves a lot to be desired. Director of photography Michael Latham appears to be fighting with himself. There are times when the essence of a scene is captured with grace, and then there are times when the intended subjects are captured so poorly that I can’t make heads or tails of what is occurring. As a result of the cinematography, certain things fail to reach viewers, and pieces of the narrative ultimately fall through the cracks and lose meaning.

This is just one of many issues that Streamline faces. I believe that many of the shots were filmed very darkly intentionally to reflect the darkness inherent in the plot. But the film becomes so dark at times that viewers can’t make out what is happening. All in all, the cinematography adds to the stress of trying to figure out what is ever happening throughout the film.

Through all of the difficulties, there is a bright spot, and that is the acting. The world knows how talented Isaacs is, but Miller is still young and hasn’t had too much exposure yet. Nevertheless, Miller is a wonderfully passionate and talented actor. Even in the tensest situations, his ability to convey emotion is truly inspiring. Along with the impressive lead, nearly every other person on screen portrays their respective characters with great aplomb and is the only reason emotion makes its way to the foreground. It’s quite upsetting to realize that the potential of every actor’s abilities are likely hindered as a result of the convoluted script and the failed cinematograph, but Que será, será.

I had high hopes entering a film co-starring Jason Isaacs, but his screen time is limited, and viewers never have the opportunity to see him shine like they have in previous films. The film’s potential is stunted by a combination of failing to identify itself and forcing Isaacs to sit in the shadows. Everything that I had hoped it would be fails to come to fruition. Streamline never establishes its footing, and I believe viewers will fail to see the allure of what Johnston attempts to create.

Streamline (2022)

Directed and Written: Tyson Wade Johnston

Starring: Levi Miller, Jason Isaacs, Jake Ryan, Laura Gordon, Steve Bastoni, Hunter Page-Lochard, Robert Morgan, Tasia Zalar, etc.

Movie score: 4/10

Streamline Image

"…Miller is a wonderfully passionate and talented actor."

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