The Gateway features an interesting, if unoriginal science-fiction premise with a talented cast, but fails to hit the emotional core of its viewers.
Particle physicist Jane Chandler (Jacqueline McKenzie) is on the verge of a scientific discovery when her loving husband Matt (Myles Pollard) loses his life in a car-crash, leaving a grieving Jane and their two kids behind. After discovering that she can travel between parallel worlds, Jane finds her husband alive and well and decides to bring him home. A move that proves to have some dangerous consequences.
Parallel worlds and universes have been a staple in science-fiction lore for as long as science-ficiton has been around. The Gateway continues on the mythology by adding a familial twist. The film focuses on the relationship between its characters, with the theme of love and loss at the forefront. It poses a difficult scenario of what a person would do, if they could bring a loved one back from the dead. It’s a thrilling premise though the film struggles to convey the message on a deeper level.
The performances are good, though the film suffers from pacing issues that doesn’t allow enough time for character development, as the events move along a bit too quickly, not giving the audience a chance to connect with its characters. When there are milestone events in the film, they feel rather inconsequential considering the gravity of the situation. The themes on display in The Gateway have the potential to make for some seriously dramatic, powerful, and shocking viewing – stuff the masters of Hollywood would have a field day with.
Unfortunately for director John V. Soto, it just wasn’t meant to be. His effort is commendable considering the lack of a big budget, but a more experienced director would have played on the tension that’s sorely missed here. Sure, there are glimpses of it in certain parts of the movie, however not enough to keep you gripped all the way through, which is a shame because there’s lots of potential there.
The film’s biggest redeeming qualities lie in its cast of actors, who all are likeable and do their best with what they’re given, as well as its themes and science-fiction elements. It also has some decent production value and features a couple of twists you may not see coming. The Gateway likely won’t do much for fans of the genre, but may still capture the imaginations of those that are newer to it.
Director John V. Soto’s fourth feature film.