Part COVID character study, part Blow Out murder conspiracy, and part corporate thriller, Kimi is a lean 90-minute thriller that doesn’t overstay its welcome even as it’s constantly morphing. Kimi is the Siri./Alexa-esque personal A.I. assistant device found in millions of consumer homes. Angela (Zoe Kravitz) is an agoraphobic Seattle tech worker who clears the Kimi user problems, and one day she overhears a recording of a woman being murdered, the same woman who accuses the Kimi CEO of assault. The first half of the movie is establishing the crippling anxiety and welcomed routines for Angela as well as the geography of her home, a point that will be more important in the final act. Kravitz is good but too much time is spent analyzing the captured audio and getting her ready to leave. From there, she ventures outside to report the crime, and that’s when powerful people try and abduct or kill her. The movie is brisk and has a constant nervous energy to it, never better than when Angela meets with her shady corporate HR rep (Rita Wilson). However, these killer corporate goons committing don’t seem as scary efficient like in Michael Clayton, so mundanely proficient at ending lives. These guys are more bumbling goons, which takes some of the threat away, though I still relished Angela getting the better of her attackers. For so much buildup about Angela’s terror of the outside world, I was expecting more obstacles relating to her personal agoraphobic fears, but these concerns are dropped too easily once she’s running away from scary bad guys. It’s a thriller that doesn’t exactly transcend its influences and inspirations, but there should still be room for well-made, derivative B-movie thrillers that still know how to entertain. Director Steven Soderbergh and writer David Koepp are genre veterans so even a lesser effort will be effortlessly better than most. Kimi is a narrow but enjoyable thriller that had some room for improvement but still satisfies.
Nate’s Grade: B