If you’re going to watch a movie with an extinction threat in this cursed year, it has to have something other than a virus threatening humankind. In 2067, it’s the loss of all plant life on Earth. ‘Fake’ oxygen now has to be provided for survival, but illnesses that stop even that working are rife. Humanity’s days are numbered, and with none too many digits left on the clock. So far no one has been able to come up with any ideas to fix it – but just maybe they can invent a time machine (so much easier than regrowing a plant??), and travel forward to find out how it was managed in the future’s past!!
Urm… that’s very Bill and Ted 3, now I think about it, but with none of the fun factor o.O
Anyway. Ethan Whyte (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a utility worker, not much special about him – so when a radio signal from the future mentions him by name he’s thrust into the confused role of possible saviour of the species. But who sent the signal, what is he meant to do – and what forces are acting against him?
I do like a bit of time travel sci fi, but to be honest I might be the only person in my (virtual) viewing group who got anything out of this movie! To be fair, it’s not as well done as it could have been. I thoroughly enjoyed the time loop mysteries and paradoxes, and I thought the whole thing looked pretty cool especially for a low budget effort. But…
Hmm, yeah, but – just about everything else. The acting was neither awful nor great, but the lead was just not written in a way that made me care too much – he’s too whiny, too weak, and with a tagged-on backstory that I’m not sure really comes to fruition. The surrounding cast aren’t really crafted well enough to help, either, and the dialogue from all was rather more miss than hit.
The story has a few too many bits that don’t really work – starting with the underlying premise, but that’s maybe the easiest to ignore – spoiling those bits that are more interesting and well done. I think there was a core of an intriguing tale, but then padding it out a bit introduced a bit too much ‘meh’. And some of the emotional ‘hits’ were a bit daft – I mean, you travel that far into the future, of course everyone you know is dead? Really?? Such attempts to manufacture drama and empathy rather backfired for me.
Overall, then, it was a bit frustrating. There were glimmers of potential swamped in too much ‘not great’ hitting ‘pretty bad’ at times. I still enjoyed it for a throwaway movie as it pushed my ‘time travel shenanigans’ button and I liked the whole aesthetic, but I am well aware that I’ll be in the minority on that one!
Released: 2nd October 2020
Viewed: 16th October 2020
Running time: 114 minutes
My rating: 4/10