2067 Movie Review- A Science Fiction Movie That Has The Power To Move You

2067 by Seth Larney is a surprisingly emotional science fiction stunner full of beautiful set pieces and heartfelt sentiment.

2067 is a low-fi Interstellar that hits you in the same sweet spot as the gorgeous Christopher Nolan epic. It shares many of the same bones dealing with sacrifice, loss, and human failings. They differ because Larney’s 2067 makes something veritably out of nothing with smart use of location, character development, and imaginative effects. It is a deeply resonant and timely film along the same vein as High Life and Arrival. For fans of meditative genre films, this one is perfect.

Earth has disintegrated in the not so distant future. All of humanity lives on artificial oxygen. Greed and unchecked progress destroyed the planet. Most of life lives behind an oxygen mask or underground. It’s a dire future. The artificial O2 is causing some to get a deadly disease, including our protagonist’s wife. Time is running out for humans. When a strange message from the future requests Ethan Whyte is shot into a portal to 2474, an underground worker must leave his home on a one-way mission to save the world.

Courtesy of RLJE Films

For Ethan, this is surprising because he is a nobody, a cog in the wheel. He struggles with the decision because he has baggage from a father who left his family when he was young. Making matters worse, he has almost zero understanding of what he will find when he gets to the future. He doesn’t know who requested him or how to change anything. Ethan simply has a desire to help his wife. He confronts the fact that he may not be able to effect any real change, though.

Director/writer Seth Larson, who grew up in Australia’s forests, wanted to tell a story reminiscent of the character-driven science fiction movies of the ’70s and ’80s. Only he wanted the urgency of a real impending environmental crisis. He succeeded in capturing the corruption of bureaucracy, exploitation of fear, and courageousness of selflessness. 2067 is a science fiction story with hard science elements, time travel, resource allocation, and futurism. At its heart, however, it is the story of one man’s journey to find himself and make peace with his past.

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The gorgeously shot film is easy to watch. Cinematography, Earle Dresner captures the griminess of a ravaged industrial planet clinging to the last vestiges of technology and the lush wildness of unburdened nature. Both are instrumental in the story. Dresner is given something beautiful to shoot from Larson, who is a visual effects artist turned director. His artist’s eye is evident in every set piece. The near future’s dirt-punk sensibility is filled with cables, wires, and so many oozy substances. It is a dour place that fills the narrative better than any dialogue. The second location, an unbridled ferociousness of a landscape left to heal, is straight apocalyptic glory. Almost a character itself along with Ethan. It practically shouts, weeps, and smiles right along with our hero.

It is in that place that the film soars. Kodi Smit-McPhee(Let Me In, The Road) is a quirky actor best known for cerebral, moody roles. His brand of brooding-confusion works very well here. Ethan is literally shot into a distant future with no idea why he is there, or how to get back. Through flashbacks and heated conversations with trusted friend Jude, played by True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten, who appears unexpectedly, we learn along with him what has happened and who was responsible. It is Ethan’s emotional journey we are on. Without the intelligent subtly he brought, the movie would not have the final act’s emotional punch.

Courtesy of RLJE Films

2067 is about the interconnectivity of life. Our past influences our future, and everything around us change who we are and what we do. This film asks big questions in an accessible way that neither feels trite or preachy, just honest. It’s about having faith in yourself and the power of one selfless act in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Used more as plot devices than fully-fledged people to invest in, side characters like Ethan’s wife Xanthe(Sana’a Shaik) and Jude are more superficially drawn. Their job is to motivate or propel not to get in the way. It is Ethan’s story to tell.

At nearly two hours long, the pacing suffers a bit in the first thirty minutes. The first act feels more like one giant expository sequence than blended storytelling. What it lacks in deliberate plotting, it makes up for with ascetics, though. The staleness falls away once Ethan enters the future and allows for the more sentimental beats to shine through. The second act of 2067 plays more like an expected sci-fi mind-bender. The final act reads like a cautionary tale that it is never too late to make a change.

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Whichever side of the climate change argument you are on, 2067 works. This movie hits home whether you believe we are on the verge of collapse or not. You only have to buy-in to Ethan’s mission. That’s easy to do, and his character arc does the rest. You will probably guess the big twists, but that’s okay because, like most great science fiction, it’s about the people, not the physics. Poignant and pensive, this movie asks for examination.

It’s the first thoughtful science fiction film of 2020 to make me have hope that the dumpster fire that has been this year still has some secrets worth knowing. If for nothing else, 2067 is dazzling to look at, and Smit-McPhee gives a winsome performance as a determined hero.

RLJE Films will release the sci-fi/thriller film 2067 In Theatres, on Demand, and Digital on October 2, 2020.
Stream it Friday anywhere you get your movies.

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