Derek Ting wrote, directed and stars in Agent Revelation, a science-fiction film about finding yourself in a world that has never provided easy answers to who you are. It’s the sort of micro-budget science fiction that relies on a handful of sets, a few genre faces and a lot of elbow grease to even exist.
Ting’s script is fine, and his vision for a sci-fi world mixes a number of staple concepts (ancient aliens, possession, subterranean tunnels, the Illuminati, superpowers) in a creative way, but what makes Agent Revelation a worthwhile watch is just how much fun it is to see how far a small production manages to take such an expansive vision. There are many more expensive films with a lot less gumption.
Ting stars as Jim Yung, recruited into an underground fighting force against the evil Kinnians. Leading this band of troops is Alastair (Michael Dorn). Dorn made his name through voice-work and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He is always a welcome face, and voice. His role here is largely expositional, training Jim to fight the Kinnians who harness life-force (mana) from the human race.
Jim has to learn to accept himself and harness his positive vibes to defeat them. He also learns physical combat in a series of “training sequences” structured like video-game tutorial levels and set in what seems to be a laser tag course. Y’know, again: This is a movie earnestly pretending to be something larger but embracing the reality of its smaller budget. So what if the action sets look dopey? That’s part of the fun.
There are a lot of other characters. A lot. They generally dress in military fatigues but never look stern or military-like. Some of them are undercover Kinnians while others are helping Jim fight the good fight. Most of them survive for the sequel set up at the end of the movie.
Agent Revelation is actually a sequel itself — to Ting’s original film, Agent, although knowledge of the first isn’t necessary to understand Revelation. The first film is available to view for free on YouTube
Slagging on Agent Revelation would be pretty easy if the goal was to depict action sci-fi as just one thing, but frankly movies like Agent Revelation are always a treat. I don’t know much about Ting or his goals for the franchise, but it’s neat that he made a movie like this for himself to star in and filled it with every idea he could possibly attempt with the budget he had.
Dorn gives it a gravitas, but even without him the movie is a lot of fast-paced, gonzo science-fiction fun. There are a few character-based twists and turns that I didn’t see coming (and a few that are obvious from the get-go). At just over an hour, Agent Revelation feels most like the result of someone setting out to make their own action series and rising to the challenge. Low budget, big heart and a lot of fun.