Some bad movies are just awful on every level, but it’s almost easy to appreciate their commitment to mediocrity. Other bad films squander interesting premises with some lousy execution or spotty performances or bad writing. In some cases, like with the sci-fi thriller 2067, everything collapses in increasingly harder to believe scenarios resulting in an overall dismal effort.
Earth is dying — as the planet tends to do in these dystopian future films — this time from a lack of oxygen thanks to a lack of trees. Must have been due to the creation of one too many Super Walmarts.
Ethan (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a utility worker helping to keep the lights on (literally) in the last city on Earth with power. He’s a cog in the machine of the big (and likely super shady) corporation that’s created a synthetic oxygen.
It’s not ideal as the citizens are still dying, but it is providing some measure of normalcy. Unfortunately for Ethan, his wife Xanthe (Sana’a Shaik) is in rough shape as she’s coughing up blood now.
There may be a way out though as the corporation has quietly been working on a device to communicate with people from Earth’s future where they’ve discovered a cure for this lack of oxygen and possibly send a person to retrieve this cure. The only catch is the folks from the future only want Ethan.
This triggers bad memories for Ethan, who remembers his father abandoning the family after placing some odd device on Ethan’s wrist. Ethan can’t fathom leaving his sick wife, but Xanthe implores him to go. It’s not like he can save her by staying and watching her die.
His best friend and fellow wage worker, Jude (Ryan Kwanten), also encourages Ethan to take the leap. Besides no one else can possibly retrieve the cure. That doesn’t stop Jude from hitching a ride to the future when things get rough for Ethan.
Director/Screenwriter Seth Larney has a good premise to work with and the preservation of the human race falling on one man unsure of what’s so special about himself is intriguing.
Larney populates this future world impressively resembling the blockbuster budget aesthetics of The Maze Runner. 2067 doesn’t have that kind of budget, but visually the effects avoid looking like they were done on the cheap. The cinematography also is stunning with some captivating lighting choices and bold colors. Unfortunately, that’s the only positives for the film.
Smit-McPhee was decent enough in a understated supporting role in the final two X-Men films, but his performance here doesn’t instill much confidence in his ability to headline films.
Over the course of that hour, Smit-McPhee becomes increasingly less engaging as a performer making Ethan a whiny, insecure protagonist more focused on crumbling into the fetal position and bawling uncontrollably than finding a useful solution to his problem. Kwanten is a bit of a one-note actor whose demeanor makes Jude immediately suspicious and shady.
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Larney unintentionally tips his film’s big twist an hour into the film. That makes the next hour a very frustrating exercise waiting on Ethan to catch up on the obvious.
Part of what makes the second half so tedious is a lack pf progression. It feels like Ethan and Jude run out of ideas early on and basically run and talk in circles for the remainder of the movie. Larney has a good idea yet he spends more time on Ethan’s indecisiveness and Jude’s constant prompting that becomes tiresome.
It always a bad sign when a film has to constantly revisit scenes from earlier. Not in some measure to reveal hidden elements of the story viewers might have missed, but simply to rehash earlier moments to remind viewers what they’ve seen already several times.
2067 had every right to be a better or at least competent movie exploring the chance to save the planet from humanity’s careless attitude toward the environment. Instead, it’s just another doomsday movie wasted by weak performances and a plot that feels like it’s experiencing its own global extinction event.
Rating: 3.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: RLJ Entertainment