Streaming today on HBO Max is Kimi, Steven Soderbergh's latest thriller starring Zoë Kravitz. Kravitz plays Angela, an agoraphobic who is having a major setback thanks in part to the pandemic. She works remotely at home for the huge corporation that created the online artificial intelligent virtual assistant named Kimi (think Siri or Alexa). It's Angela's job to provide a human element to the program by reviewing any recordings that Kimi herself can't quite decipher. One day she reviews a recording in which she suspects foul play might be involved, but no one at her job seems to take it seriously and soon she begins to question if there's a bigger conspiracy at hand.
Kimi is a little slow to start, but once it gets going it's a taut little thriller that packs a lot of tension. It is very much a film of its time and setting it during the pandemic, as well as making the lead suffer from agoraphobia, really makes you as a viewer feel the danger Angela feels when she finally has to leave her comfortable bubble. Kravitz turns in solid work and essentially has to carry the whole film on her shoulders. It's kind of a one-woman show here and the film wouldn't work with a lesser performance. Still, it's not as strong as it could be, and the script is the culprit.
As I mentioned before, Kimi takes a little bit to get going. If it got started sooner and then spent some more time unraveling the mystery the intrigue would be built on a much firmer foundation. Conversely, the ending feels way more abrupt. We are led to an admittedly great punchline of dialogue and then quickly shooed into a clumsy, out-of-place type epilogue scene. It doesn't quite feel like the payoff we've earned with the tension we've endured. If you want answers to plot threads, don't plan on getting them. Still, for what it is--a modern-day Rear Window type tale about Siri & the pandemic--Kimi is a good time