A stylish thriller about an agoraphobic and the monsters in the company she works for.

Steven Soderbergh’s “Kimi” is a much better version of “The Woman in the Window” in every way. Only the crime doesn’t take place across from the street, but rather through the recordings of the virtual assistant product in the vein of Siri and Alexa, known as “Kimi.”

The movie takes its time to show us how agoraphobics must step outside their comfort zones in order to set things right. It sounds typical the way I’m describing it, but did you like “The Woman in the Window?” Your response: “Good Point.”

Zoe Kravitz stars as Angela Childs, an agoraphobic tech worker, who is bunkered in her Seattle apartment during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has dyed blue hair like Lea Seydoux in “Blue is the Warmest Color” and she has an Aubrey Plaza-type attitude. She has a thing for the prosecutor (Bryan Bowers) across from her apartment, but doesn’t have the stomach to meet him outside for breakfast. So sex in her room is feasible. Given her circumstances, her mother (Robin Givens) thinks she’s too scared to overcome her condition and her dentist (David Wain) warns her that she needs a root canal tout suite.

Her greatest fears are put to the test when the Kimi recordings feature a woman (Ericka Christensen from “Parenthood” and Soderbergh’s “Traffic”) being raped, and digs deeper into the recording with darker results. The company who employs her may be involved with the crimes, and that’s when we get the thugs (Jacob Vargas and Charles Halford) stalking her.

Also with Jaime Camil, Devan Ratray, Andy Daly, and Rita Wilson in the mix, Soderbergh and writer David Koepp (in his best entry since “Premium Rush”) both give the agoraphobic set-up more never than Joe Wright and Tracy Letts did with “The Woman in the Window.” It has a strong heroine, who is willing to expose the crimes and even in her most dangerous situations, she rises to the occasion. Kravitz delivers quite well in the role, and she keeps your involved unlike Amy Adams in last year’s Netflix bomb. “Kimi” is on HBO Max,” BTW.

In the beginning, we cringe at some of her decisions regarding her phobia, like when her dentist tells her to come in for her root canal, and she refuses. I don’t understand what it would be like to be an agoraphobic (sparing you the “You don’t know what it’s like” quote and me having to hear it), but in those cases, I wouldn’t be comfortable. Especially since I knew a bar tender, who had to get his tooth fixed or it would be fatal for him.

But as we go deeper into the main heroine’s career, we find out the crimes that products can pick up and how the CEOs or employees of their companies can be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Who is good? And who can you trust? You have to be careful, and when a movie lets the bad guys win, we do get underwhelmed. But when the good guys are written with common sense, you’re relieved.

I know Kravitz has been in a number of movies like “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and “X-Men: First Class,” and she will be in the upcoming “The Batman,” but I was still reminded of an independent film she was in entitled “Gemini.” In it, she was an actress, who was presumable dead, and her supposed death was pinned on her assistant. Those box office numbers are proof that most of you haven’t seen it, but I think before you see “The Batman,” you should see both “Gemini” and “Kimi,” because they represent how she doesn’t need commercialism to make her famous.

Rating: 3 out of 4.

Streaming on HBO Max

Categories: Crime, Drama, Thriller

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