To say that "Branded" is a weird film is understatement. I have seen so many cult movies before, and so many strange sci-fi films, too, including such classics as "Matango" ("Attack of the Mushroom People"), but not like "Branded." This is not a compliment, of course. Well, my point is, I have never seen so much energy put into something like this, something that contains great Max von Sydow, and that doesn't make sense at all.
Set in today's Moscow, the story of "Branded" starts with a young Russian marketing executive Misha (Ed Stoppard) hired for a reality TV show. Misha meets an American Abby (Leelee Sobieski) and has a relationship with her. Later Misha acquires special powers to see "marketing schemes" in their true form ... they are monsters.
I am not kidding, and the film (also known as "The Mad Cow" and "Moscow 2017") tackles this social issue so earnestly that it plays like a dead serious drama. Not a single drop of wit is injected. This is not a John Carpenter classic "They Live." You may see CG creatures flying in the sky, but it is no fun watching them.
"Branded" is less like watching a movie than listening to a lecture. And the lecture is boring, offering no insight into the subject matter it deals with.