Student film artist and journalism major Quinn Erney debuted the newest addition to his ongoing series, exploring a vast and complicated multiverse in which almost everyone is a copy of him in some way. This film is a direct sequel to one he released in February of this year, and the plot follows the big question presented in the first film; who is the figure with the Batman Who Laughs mask?
In the pursuit of finding answers, Bruce Wayne (played by Erney) faces unprecedented opposition by supernatural beings hell-bent on his destruction. It’s a wild ride through-and-through, with plenty of twists and turns in its 12-minute runtime.
Watching the film, I couldn’t help but be wrought with confusion. In a series where plot is a major driving factor, this film does not do a great job of explaining characters, exposition, or defining the theme. From what I can deduce, most of the filming takes place on the SU campus, which makes it difficult for the viewer to be fully emersed in the universe.
In some cases, a potential plot point— that could contribute to the rising action of the story— is completely dropped in the next scene, creating a sense of incomplete storytelling. When it comes to outlining the plot— there isn’t an identifiable climax that the viewer can rest easy on.
Another glaring issue the film faces is the acting. Oftentimes the characters presented feel shallow- lacking emotion or drive. Many shots give off the impression that it was the first take- rather than the best take out of many filmed. And, before the audience can get familiar with some of the characters on screen, other personalities appear and leave the viewer befuddled as to their identity.
Where I think director Erney’s filming excels, is in the use of camera angles to produce tricky and otherwise difficult shots. Considering the limitations that student films often face, Erney has shown he can think creatively when trying to convey certain powers (superhuman strength, teleportation, transforming into other creatures, etc.) and uses elements like framing, focus and zoom to create these illusions.
I can also appreciate the creative use of digital and practical effects, which gives the film a more polished and thought-out feel. And, when it comes to the universe surrounding the series, also known as the “Quinnverse,” I find myself intrigued as to the origin of some of the supernatural entities in the film, like The Gatekeeper.
Overall, I love the passion and drive Erney has presented for this project. You can tell from his craft that he cares and believes in the art he creates with unparalleled devotion. This film is rough around the edges, but with a little polish and a more thorough reworking of the plot, I have no doubt that these films can flourish. Until then, I’ll be looking forward to seeing Erney’s development as a director and storywriter in his next edition to “The Quinn Legacy."