Lapsis Movie Recommendation and Ending Explanation

Lapsis Movie Recommendation and Ending Explanation
Lapsis is a brilliant damning view of our modern day gig economy and its allure of infinite wealth, all sitting firmly on the backs of disillusioned workers.
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I love weird. Boy, do I love non-standard, and extraordinarily different movie types. Today, oh YES, have I got some weird for you all. Man, I am excited about this one. Firstly, because it says something about our current day and age, while also talking about us simultaneously. Which, yeah, I’m all about. And yet, it’s very approachable, and relatable. I would actually say that Lapsis, while otherworldly weird, it is still governed by a heart that is real, and true. But the best part about Lapsis?? NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE ENDING. Like no one. And so YEAH! WOOOT! We get to talk about this crazy ending, and try and parse the heck out of this thing and see if we can’t come to a good conclusion together. Boy, do I love movies like Lapsis. So yeah, let’s do this – Lapsis Movie Recommendation and Ending Explanation.

It goes without saying that the rest of this post is going to be 100% spoilers. Why? Taylor? WHY DO YOU ALWAYS DO THIS? Well, random interwebs denizen, so glad you asked that – I do it because I don’t do movie reviews. (Sure there’s a score up there – but that is just a barometer so you know, at a glance, how I feel about the movie. Oh, and Google SEO really makes me do that too… but I digress.) Instead, I consider you all my friends and acquaintances… not you Jared though. You are mean to me, and rude. Please, no one bring up Jared again. OK? Thanks. And with my friends I prefer to talk about the movies, and discuss them, mull them over. The real heartbeat of this site isn’t my words… or my posts. The real heartbeat of this site is actually all the comments that happen at the bottom of each post. That is where the real fun begins. OK, so what is Lapsis – here, if you haven’t watched the movie already, check out this trailer then go away until you’ve managed to watch it. Which – you can do via one of these links below:

Lapsis Walkthrough

Alright, this is where we dive straight into the spoilers. And I walk through the movie solely so we can all be on the same page as to what happened in the movie. If I miss something, heck, yell.

Lapsis opens in a society that is current day adjacent. It isn’t really the future, per se. And it isn’t the past. It’s just an alternative present. A world where Quantum Computing is taking over the world. And having a Quantum computer becomes necessary to live and work inside modern day life. It’s also a world that is beset by Omnia, a new sort of disease that is similar to chronic fatigue syndrome…which is to say, some doubt it is real. Some use the disease to sell snake oil cures. That sort of thing. Ray, the writer and director of the TV Movie Hammerhead (played by Dean Imperial – literally the very first time I’ve ever been jealous of another person’s name. Taylor Holmes is good. Dean Imperial is EPIC.) is a complete technophobe, needs to figure some way to make money for his brother, who has Omnia. He loves his brother very much, and is willing to pony up really anything in order to take care of him. But that means he has a problem… cash. He needs lots of it.

In this parallel world, one of the fastest growing gig economies is cabling. Please don’t think too hard about this. I believe that this cabling actually is insane, and literally makes no sense whatsoever. Alright, I’ll see if I can explain it quickly. Apparently, there are Quantum stations that require routes to be run between them. Large cube/magnets that a cabler plugs into, and then runs cable through the forest from one station to the next. And by laying this cable, the cabler will be given cash. Why is this necessary? And why does the cable just get unspooled on the ground? No idea. Why would Quantum Computing require this, I have no idea. (There is an amazing book by Michael Lewis called Flash Boys that details out the amazing amount of work that traders have done in order to gain milliseconds of edge over other traders. They literally ran new fiber from Chicago to New York I think it was… yeah, tunneling through the Appalachians of Pennsylvania, just to gain microseconds of speed.) But I chose to think about these cablers as a metaphor… not a literal thing. This metaphor though is useful on many levels. These cablers are just dumping mountains of cable on the beautiful forests of New York. They are fighting for the best routes. They are working hard for a purpose that no one knows. Right? And today, we have gig economy ants clambering to all the best gig-jobs, and hardly anyone knows why we are doing it.

So Ray. Back to Ray. Ray just needs cash. He doesn’t need to understand what CBLR is doing or why. He just wants to find a way to make money. And so after doing some fairly shady dealings with lost luggage, he signs up to get an old cabling medallion. (Taxi Medallions? Right? Anyway.) Ray gets his medallion from an individual who requires 30% of all his cabling fares. But Ray does it because there is literally no other way to break into the business. And just like that, our Ray, an overweight, non-hiker, is now hiking his heart out, pulling cable around the planet, for purposes unknown.

Ray – the most clueless person on the planet – is now a Quantum cabler. He can hardly hike. Doesn’t know how to manage the technical nuances of the cabling app, doesn’t understand the mores and social rules of this new world, and worse he has a medallion that might just get him into a lot of trouble. Wait, what? All the medallions allow the owner to create their own moniker, but since Ray got his on the dark market, he wasn’t able to create a user name or avatar. And the few times others saw his name they immediately took offense. Wait, what? The medallion nickname is Lapsis Beeftech. And the original owner of the medallion was actually a cabler insider who did things that promoted the abilities of the cabling bots. Wait, the what? The cabling whose-it-wahts? Bots were created by the cabling companies to compete with cablers, and if they beat the cabler to the route destination the cabler loses the fee he would have received for the route.

Lapsis Movie Recommendation and Ending Explanation

So, think about this for a second. This is literally what happened in the world of western expansion in the United States as the big rail companies first used humans to manually lay their tracks, they eventually began using machinery to do the same work. And obviously, today, no one wants to do that work now. But back in the 1800’s, this machinery literally cost human jobs, and even human lives, as they worked hard to try and keep up with the machines that were quickly surpassing them. This though, is just a larger conversation about machines that have radically changed society and replaced human labor on millions of different menial tasks. As time has worn on though, machines gave way to AI, and now some unthinkable job types are quickly being replaced, by technology, that is now putting at risk the livelihoods of millions around the planet. Are we seeing what this movie might actually be talking about here? Maybe? Like maybe hints of possibilities of where Lapsis might be eventually going?

Regardless, as time goes on, we learn that there is an underground movement that is working to fight back against the monopolistic cabling company in control of all this work. They are working to try and find backdoors into disabling the bots, and keeping bots from threatening their routes and their funding. But without insider knowledge, all of their efforts so far have been pretty Neanderthalish in their attempts. Stonehenge-ing them in traps, using tripwires… but the bots have found ways to circumvent these simple techniques. Cablers need something that is more lasting. Something that will definitively put them ahead. You know, like worker reforms that give them bathroom breaks!

Eventually, Ray learns that Lapsis Beeftech, the original owner of his medallion, was a tech who helped the cabling monopoly craft bots that undermined the cabler’s autonomy. Used DNA sensing tech in order to get past their tricks, and to indict bot aggression. Which explained why the cablers hated the name, Lapsis Beeftech. It also explained why he had thousands of credits in his account, and why he was getting all the long haul routes no one else was getting. Speaking of which, after his first full weekend, he is offered a route for $100k. A long haul route that very few would be allowed access. He starts out on the journey – dropping his cable, gratuitously as he goes. And he eventually meets up with a long-hauler named Anna. And it’s from her that Ray learns about this underground movement to fight back against the bots.

He eventually finishes his route – but has to destroy a bot to keep it from beating him to the end of the route. This causes the funds for his route to be frozen until an investigation is completed. Which is bad, seeing as though his brother needs thousands and thousands of dollars for his snake oil Omnia treatments by this weekend. Never mind the fact that the guy that gave him his medallion wants his 30%. Nothing is going right. But chasing a lead from Anna, Ray heads out to a company called Half Moon Naturals in order to learn more about this Beeftech guy. Eventually he finds the original man behind the Lapsis moniker who is working at the Naturals company. And it is there that Ray learns that the bots are triggered by audio key codes. After thinking back, Ray realizes that it was a video file he found on Lapsis’ account that was of his daughter talking. Come to find out, that it is Anna who is Lapsis’ daughter. Knowing the key to shutting down the bots, the community of cablers chase down the bots one by one and play the audio file which shuts all the bots down. And this causes the Cabling Monopoly to go completely nuts. So much so that they head out to Lapsis and ask him how to undo the backdoor, which he refuses. They also ask if they know who Anna is – at which point, he denies knowing her.

Lapsis Movie Recommendation and Ending Explanation

Lapsis Movie Recommendation and Ending Explanation

Lapsis Movie Recommendation and Ending Explanation. Look. The screenplay for this film is a little all over the map. The acting is a little all over the map as well. There are fits and starts in various directions. The Omnia chaos is a bit of an abandoned thread. The medallions and the mafia seem a little bit of a lost thread as well. The main, important, thread to really grapple with is the world of the cabling and the gig economy contractors that are trying hard to make ends meet in this new world. There seems to be a promise of riches, but they are all learning that it’s almost entirely a mirage. These gold miners have been sucked into this gold-fever but they aren’t seeing the riches that they were promised.

So, as the movie winds down to the end, you have to keep your eye on this idea that the movie is almost exclusively about humanity struggling in the face of technology. With that in mind there isn’t anything that epitomizes the hate of this monopoly more than the bots. These bots are methodically working without ever stopping, and humans stop sleeping, stop resting, stop eating, all with the hope of beating the bots that methodically and ceaselessly devour the humans efforts without even blinking.

After the cablers figure out how to shut down the bots by using the audio of Anna to back door the bots, they celebrate their successes. And if the movie ended there it would be a celebration of man’s achievements over tyranny and unfairness. Wouldn’t it? But is that what this movie is about? No. Absolutely not. It’s about the never ending fact that monopolies, and technology, will always enslave man whenever it can. If you think this movie is about anything else, you are wrong. So how can we possibly have a happy ending if that is what this movie is about? Well, you can’t. Which is how you can understand the ending.

After almost all the bots are shutdown, and the cablers are celebrating, there is one remaining robot that skips out of the forest, and heads up the nearest road. We watch as it slips away, and walks back to the u-store-it garage. It then opens the garage door and is met by a human that plugs it in. And with that the movie ends. Wait, what? That’s the ending? Yeah, that’s the ending.

So, how do we make sense of it? Well, there are several possible interpretations to this ending… but I believe the best explanation is the simplest one. And that is, this bot has figured out the assault against its companions. It has slipped away, and is recharging before going back out. And better yet, it has somehow bypassed the backdoor that stopped its brethren. Which means that technology has figured out a way to overcome humanity’s attempt to circumvent its cruel iron fist over them. And ultimately the cabler’s celebration is all for nothing. That their win over the monopolistic hegemony was actually no win at all. Maybe it’ll last the afternoon. But soon the bots will be back out, will be smarter, and will be even more impossible to beat tomorrow.

Now, think about the world of Uber. Uber has created a ride sharing app that offers elusive money galore to drivers, and cheap rides for its customers. Drivers take their cars out, and get “great” fees for the drives that they provide. But the drivers aren’t accounting for the wear and tear on their cars, or the mileage depreciation that is where their real profits are coming from. And, as the company gets more leverage over the market, where do their profits come from? Well, the backs of their drivers, where they decrease the value of the rides they provide. Only the really dedicated drivers get the best routes. And ultimately it’s truly impossible to make a living while working for Uber. (Maybe it is just fine to make a living – I’m just trying to show you what the movie is talking about. Don’t send me angry emails if you are a Lyft or Uber driver. Gah.) The larger point here is that the humans are setup to fail. Maybe a better example would be the human-robots that Amazon abuses in their warehouses. Their hand held computers tell them when they can go to the bathroom for heaven’s sake. The larger point here is that large corporations believe that they can get away with treating humans like robots… that is inhumanely… unhumanly?

And the ending is just saying – congrats, clever human. You win the day, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory. The war will be won by the large unrelenting corporations as they break the backs of every worker they can.

Edited by: CY