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Paragon: The Shadow Wars

USA 2020
produced by
Khu, Justin Price, Franziska Schissler, Charles Quinten, Jordan Fedge, Trey Byers, Spencer Katzberg, Dreward Rosenthal, Melinda Camtaker (executive), Jessica Katz (executive), Justiuna Chang (executive) for Pikchure Zero
directed by Justin Price
starring Danny Trejo, Franziska Schissler, Khu, Justin Price, Lisa May, Cameron White, Bambi Musick, Marcia Vargas, Oritsejolomi Edem Amuka, Johnny Fujikawa, Amy Jo Guthrie, Alexandra Cortes, Carolina Hilderbrand, Alisondra Alexander, Yukina Takase, Christoph Schissler, Matthew Simmons, Jordan Matlock, Deanna Graced Congo, JR Orvalle, David E. Cazares, Karen Carreno, Camilla Carreno, Danny Trevino, Tony Gomez, Robert Diaz
written by Justin Price, music by Project Zero, Gyro, visual effects supervisor: Joel Leliévre, creature design by Hadrian Palanca, Memmut Apoor, stunt coordinator: Matthew Simmons


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jael (Franziska Schissler) has just experienced what might be the end of the world - either real or imagined or even a premonition - when she wakes up in a warehouse she cannot escape as every door out actually leads her back into the place. She meets Kincaid (Danny Trejo), who's something of a keeper of the place and who tells her she's in some kind of purgatory. Quickly, Kincaid becomes her spiritual guide, teaching her to tap into psachic powers she didn't even know she had. But she in turn impresses him by actually being able to talk to the Wall of Silence - and thus he gives her the key to return to the land of the living to find her destiny. And earth really could need someone with special psychic powers, as presently, Heaven is clkosing its gates, and without mankind knowing it yet, Reapers and Overseeers of the High Order roam the world in a fight for supremacy - and Jael, with unusually strong powers she is only now learning to control, could tip the balance in either way, which means both sides must act quickly. Now Jael's ambitions are comparably simple, she just wants everything to go back to normal, wants her old life, which she barely remembers, back, and wants to reunite with her sister Mindy (Carolina Hildebrand). But that's not that easy, as the High Order tries to recruit Mindy, and the High Order actually wants to re-set earth as such, cancel everything that ever was. Jael soon realizes her best chance to achieve her goals is to team up with Reapers Zion (Justin Price) and Elle (Khu), even if she's almost sure that Elle has an agenda of her own. But ultimately everything boils down to a death duel on the mythical and ever elusive Elysian Fields between Jael and Kalypso (Alisondra Alexander), the most ruthless fighter of the High Order, with nothing less than everything at stake and Jael being of extraordinary power but lacking in proper training ...


Now I'll freel admit, I probably did not catch the very complex narrative of Paragon: The Shadow Wars in its entirety, what with its many key characters, convoluted mythology, sometimes non-linear storytelling, and constant change of location - but really that hardly matters, as even if some plotpoints will probably only make sense upon repeat viewing, this miniseries manages to create a fascinating world all of its own, and it moving as swiftly through the plot as it does, it just pulls one in, with Jael of course being the perfect identification point, as she's as new to the series' mythology as the viewer - and Franziska Schissler most certainly delivers a strong and relatable central performance, with a solid supporting cast by her side. And thanks to a dynamic directorial effort, plenty of action and often breathtaking locations from (literally) all over the world (including Thailand, Japan and Germany), this series never gets boring and manages to entertain throughout.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
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Your Bones to

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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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