Set in a world that’s literally aflame, without enough oxygen to support human life, tunnel worker Ethan Whyte (Smit-McPhee) is conscripted to travel to the future after receiving an instruction with his name on it sent back through time. Not knowing what to do, he and his friend Jude (Kwanten) slowly piece together the mystery and uncover twist after twist before figuring out their destiny.
Larney’s made a decent-looking sci-fi film here. It’s readily apparent it’s been shot on an independent budget, but its visuals are genuinely creative given its limitations.
Unfortunately, the relentless, droning score and expository dialogue make it something of a chore to sit through. Literally nothing happens without explanation or commentary by the cast, leaving them an impossible task in terms of line delivery. Neither Kwanten nor Smit-McPhee are bad actors, but the script here leaves them looking like a dog chewing peanut butter. The score, too, gives the film a monotonous feel (literally!), choking any sense of pace or dramatic dynamics.
This is not a film that will satisfy most viewers, but a certain type of genre fan will enjoy spotting the influences and purloined sound effects and giggling at tired sci-fi tropes like the sassy computer. If it weren’t for some salty language and some minor violence, this would be a pretty good kids’ film.
Streaming on Netflix 19th Feb 2021