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Old 11-26-2020, 02:46 PM   #1
Splatterpunk Splatterpunk is offline
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Past them treeeeeeeeees.
Default 2067 directed by Seth Larney (2020) - November 17, 2020

Ambitious and featuring some impressive visuals, Seth Larney’s 2067 is nevertheless a mixed bag. Still, it was nice to see some thoughtful sci fi, even if its reach exceeds its grasp. Plus, I won the just released blu ray in a giveaway, and I’ll never complain about that!

In the year 2067, humanity faces extinction from the forces of climate change. All plant life has died and there is only one functional city left on the entire planet. With air being unbreathable, the manufacturing of synthetic oxygen has become vital. Unfortunately, it’s an imperfect product, and a disease known as “the sickness” is a terminal side effect. Our lead is Ethan Whyte (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a tunnel worker who grew up an orphan. Fellow blue-collar grunt Jude (Ryan Kwanten) raised Ethan and is his best friend. Ethan’s schoolteacher wife, Xanthe (Sana’a Shaik), has the disease, motivating Ethan to do whatever it takes to ensure her comfort. One day, the powerful corporation that makes the synthetic oxygen summons Ethan. He soon finds out that they have a time machine and that a message from 407 years in the future requests that he be sent through the portal. With the fate of all life on Earth on his shoulders, he agrees to take the journey. When he arrives, though, he discovers that the situation is more complicated than he anticipated. Notable supporting roles also belong to Deborah Mailman as the corporation’s chief technological officer, Aaron Glenane as Ethan’s scientist father, and Finn Little as young Ethan.

Larney wrote the script, with additional material provided by Dave Paterson. It’s brimming with big concepts, although I wouldn’t say all of them get fully fleshed out. Messaging about climate change is obviously front and center, but themes about hope, fate, and family are also touched upon. The execution of these ideas could have used some polishing, with some beats feeling alternately labored or undercooked. The climax of the film falls apart under the lightest scrutiny due to time travel conundrums. Despite all this, you can feel the filmmakers’ passion, though, and the exuberant presentation of brainy earnest sci fi goes a long way toward engendering a forgiving attitude.

Production design is excellent. The dystopic world of 2067 feels authentic with grimy streets mixing with plausible technology to create an unsettling and realistic near future backdrop. The ruined overgrown city of 2474 provides a nice contrast to the darker visuals of the past setting. Effects work is slick and makes the film feel much larger than it actually is. The opening shot of Earth’s scorching and the time travel sequence are standout scenes. Earle Dresner’s photography is a major strength, as this is a good-looking flick. The visual presentation goes a long way toward covering up some of the narrative and mechanical flaws. Pacing isn’t an issue at 114 minutes, especially since worldbuilding is so strong, but that’s not to say that the picture could’ve used some judicious editing. Kirsten Axelholm and Kenneth Lampl go big with the score and assist in achieving some measure of grandiosity.

Performances are fine, but I think Larney’s direction and script/editing issues produce some problems. Smit-McPhee is allowed to devolve into hysterics much too often and Kwanten occasionally seems uncertain about his character’s arc. The two have solid chemistry, though, and the urgency of the tone arises from their work.

Seth Larney’s 2067 doesn’t completely work. That being said, I definitely enjoyed certain aspects. I’m interested in seeing more work from Larney, as it’s evident that he has vision, but I hope that gets some assistance in the scripting department on future endeavors. If you like MILLENNIUM, 12 MONKEYS, and SILENT RUNNING, you may find things to enjoy here.
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HughKDavid (11-27-2020), jfcarbel (11-28-2020)
Old 11-28-2020, 11:40 AM   #2
jfcarbel jfcarbel is offline
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I agree with everything you said and also enjoyed it for a one time viewing. I also believe they could have strengthened his relationship in the story with both his wife and Jude.
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