Toronto After Dark 2023 Wrap-Up | Restore Point Review

by Andrew Parker

An engaging and smartly written, Czech language sci-fi thriller, Restore Point (which picked up the award for Best Action Film at this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival) makes the most of its limited budget by leaning heavily into film noir vibes and healthy layers of subtext.

The year is 2041, and all citizens have the constitutional right to be brought back to life following an accidental death or violent ends. But when one of the founders of the Restore Point corporation that created the technology to bring people back from the dead is murdered and unable to be revived, an investigator starts digging into the roots of an organization that thinks the process is unethical and unnatural. What she discovers has the potential to change the world as she knows it.

Director and co-writer Robert Aloz relies on layered plotting to keep Restore Point moving along, and while the story telling is appropriately twisty, it’s also a bit too convenient at times. But in terms of delivering stunning visuals on a minimal budget and having something valid to say about the privatization of health care, Restore Point is a sharp piece of work. Even when it gets bogged down by its own world building and series of swerves, Aloz’s film stays comfortably focused on the elements that work best.

Restore Point screened as part of the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

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