Weekly ‘Flix Fix: Visioneers



Ryan Lester

Weekly ‘Flix Fix takes the legwork out of wading through thousands of film choices on Netflix, bringing you the most truly bizarre, quirky and outright amazing gems instant streaming has to offer.

Before he broke out as Alan Garner in The Hangover, Zach Galifianakis was a moderatley successful comedian and actor. He had his own show on VH1, “Late World With Zach,” his own “Comedy Central Presents” special, and several appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and other comedy shows under his belt.

However, Galifianakis’s first starring role in 2008’s highly underrated “Visioneers” (which saw limited release before going straight to DVD)  cast him in a differentl light. A far cry from his laugh-out-loud personas in subsequent films, his great performance and the film’s unique and intriguing story establish “Visioneers” as a movie that can hold its own despite its star’s newfound fame.

The movie is set in a parallel universe where the vast majority of the world is under the sway of The Jeffers Corporation. Galifianakis plays George Washington Winsterhammerman, a descendent of George Washington and a level-three employee of Jeffers.

Life in this parallel universe is mostly devoid of emotion and feeling, as the corporation has convinced the populous that productivity is the key to happiness. In addition, his wife is emotionally distant, and his son rarely leaves his room. One day, however, hundreds of thousands of people literally start exploding for no reason. Scientists believe that it is because these people have been having dreams and that there is some sort of causation between the two.

When George starts having dreams at a great frequency, he begins to question life outside the corporation’s influence and embarks on a search to find the answer before the very real possibility that he might explode comes to pass.

While the story and overall tone of the film are dark, there are still plenty of comedic moments in the film to keep things from becoming too overbearing.

These moments mostly come from George’s interactions with his co-workers and the office environment, several bizarre characters and the total absurdity of the world in which George lives.

Galifianakis plays the role of George in a very convincing way, and one can tell throughout the film that the new sensations brought about by his dreams and his ability to feel emotion are taking a toll on him.

While those expecting a laugh a minute may be extremely disappointed, “Visioneers” is an extremely well done, deeply philosophical and emotional look at a world that isn’t too much unlike our own, and it is proof that Galifianakis can bring meticulous attention to more serious roles.