‘New World Order’: Film Review

New World Order - Still - H - 2016
Indican Pictures
Lacks originality to a debilitating degree.

The Ferrara brothers’ conspiracy thriller is a tribute to B-movie conventions, but without nearly the same level of guilty entertainment value.

Italian filmmakers Fabio and Marco Ferrara, inspired perhaps by overindulgence in Michael Bay-style action spectacles, team up to produce this retrograde feature that’s awkwardly burdened with outlandish ideas, but so stylistically under-powered that it threatens to collapse under the weight of so much absurdity. New World Order demonstrates a distinct lack of originality and zero name recognition, suggesting it will disappear from American theaters faster than you can say "Ciao."

The Ferraras’ unlikely scenario involves middle-aged Massimo Torre (Mario Ferrara), police commissioner of the scenic seaside city of Napoli, who has dealt with his share of gangsters and lowlifes over his semi-illustrious career. When a group of thugs knocks over a Naples supermarket, killing Torre’s police-officer girlfriend in the process, he makes it his personal mission to bring them down. Digging deeper into the holdup, Torre ascertains that the thieves’ actual objective was kidnapping Monica (Stefania Orlando), a researcher at a secretive biomedical company that’s developing a “super melatonin” injectable therapy that boosts IQ to unprecedented levels.

As Torre and his investigative team pursue the kidnappers, a broader conspiracy unfolds, involving some of the most powerful politicians and bankers in the country, revealing their ultimate goal of implanting the entire populace with “bio chips” to control social behavior. Now facing the potential loss of not only his loved ones, but also the nation he serves so faithfully, Torre sets out on a desperate mission to unmask the conspirators and defeat their nefarious plans.

In their desire to put an indelible stamp on the project, the filmmakers pull triple-duty, with Fabio serving as DP and Marco as editor, while adding Mario as producer and lead actor. All of this familial groupthink diminishes any hint of critical analysis, resulting in a script that’s an embarrassing mashup of action heroics and conspiracy-theory ramblings concerning Freemasons, Satanists and diabolical doctors. It might be interesting to speculate where this curious mixture of paranoia and violence originates, but when the movie is such a ridiculous mess, does it really matter?

Performances are rigidly self-important all around, with endless posturing, grimacing and haranguing among the characters. Frequent, elaborate and extended shootouts and beatdowns only demonstrate that the directors know how to stage a fight scene, not that they understand how to integrate conflict into a meaningful narrative.

Distributor: Indican
Production companies: CTS Films, Ferrara Brothers Films
Cast: Mario Ferrara, Marzio Honorato, Enzo Iacchetti, Stefania Orlando, Benni Branco
Directors-writers: Fabio Ferrara, Marco Ferrara
Producers: Fabio Ferrara, Marco Ferrara, Mario Ferrara, Marina Pirone
Director of photography: Fabio Ferrara
Production designer: C.T.S. Soc. Coop.
Costume designer: Marina Pirone
Editor: Marco Ferrara
Music: Francesco Marchetti

Not rated, 117 minutes