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Less than a decade after The Blair Witch Project successfully dissuaded many would-be campers from venturing out into the woods, one of its cocreators is back with a similarly unsettling descent into the unknown. In the supernatural thriller The Objective, writer-director Daniel Myrick locates the action in a remote mountain region of Afghanistan, where a team of US Special Ops forces is dispatched with the ostensible orders of locating an influential Muslim cleric. The team initially accepts this mission at face value; however, shortly thereafter it becomes clear that Benjamin Keynes, the dispassionate CIA officer assigned to oversee the mission, may have another agenda in mind. As it turns out, three days after 9/11, a CIA reconnaissance satellite picked up a radioactive heat signal coming from the mountains. The agency feared Al-Qaeda may have acquired nuclear arms, while Keynes learned from a local source that what's there could be something even more powerful-and more dangerous. As the team ventures deeper and deeper into the mountains, strange things begin happening, and skepticism about a rumored curse in the region rapidly begins to fade. Jonas Ball, who channeled assassin Mark David Chapman with eerie precision in The Killing of John Lennon, turns in yet another remarkable performance as Keynes, a by-the-book CIA agent whose steely reserve begins to crumble in the face of the unknown. The rest of the cast is roundly excellent, and Myrick once again manages to render a chilling portrait of how what is unseen can be truly the most terrifying of all.
Following the April 30th screening, American Express ® Cardmembers are invited to a complimentary after movie reception at the American Express Insider Center located at 27 Union Square West, Union Square Ballroom. Details to be provided at the theater!
Director's Statement Collapse
The Objective taps into my fascination with extra terrestrial phenomena. Whether one believes in the existence of intelligent life elsewhere or not, there can be no question as to the effect such an idea has had on our psychology as a species. Are we alone? If not, should we fear these other life forms or embrace them? The Vimanas that is portrayed in this particular film is merely one name given to a particular manifestation of this larger phenomenon. Our group of main characters, led by Ben Keynes, realizes firsthand that this presence in the desert is like nothing they've ever experienced before.
The Objective, as the title implies, is for Ben to find a certain truth to an ongoing mystery that has confounded his superiors back at CIA headquarters, as well as himself. Part covert military mission, part personal journey, Ben employs all his resources, both mental and physical, to find this truth, even if it means losing his comrades and his sanity in the process. One can argue whether or not this 'triangle in the sky' is truly malevolent or merely protecting its territorial rights that may have existed long before humankind walked the earth. My purpose was to convey a sense of foreboding and dread with this story that creeps up inexorably around our main characters before they've had any real chance to comprehend what's going on around them, regardless of whether you believe they're victims or perpetrators. Also, I feel there's a subversive underpinning to this story that suggests that no matter how well we think we're prepared for a particular mission, taking on something we simply don't respect or understand can have dire consequences, and sometimes the best action to take is to leave well enough alone.
Film Information Collapse
Cast & Credits Collapse
Principal Cast Jonas Ball, Matt Anderson, Jon Huertas, Michael C. Williams, Sam Hunter, Jeff Prewett
Screenwriters Mark Patton, Wes Clark Jr., Daniel Myrick
Producers Zev Guber, Jeremy Wall
Connect to this film Collapse
About the Director(s)Collapse
Daniel Myrick cocreated one of the most innovative and highest grossing independent films of all time, The Blair Witch Project, which still retains the highest ratio of box office gross to production budget of any theatrical film. Myrick's most recent films include Solstice, released by The Weinstein Company in January 2008, and Believers, which is a part of the Raw Feed franchise through which Myrick has produced six features.