FREELANCE WRITER. JOURNALIST, AND SCRIPT READER – FAN OF SCI-FI AND CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVES – YSTV'S BEST DRESSED MEMBER 2013

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

On 10.2.16 by KieronMoore in , , , ,    No comments

For the full version of this review, visit Starburst.

The Earth has been all but destroyed by chemical weapons; Norman Reedus’ Bauer and Djimon Hounsou’s Cartwright are the maintenance workers who wake up every six months to perform checks on the underground bunker they, and hundreds of other cryogenically frozen survivors, live in.

And then one day, for some reason or other, Cartwright’s bed sets on fire. Bugger. Unless they find him a new one, he won’t be able to go back into stasis – and there isn’t an Ikea in sight. This quest leads to tensions rising between the two workers and dark secrets about humanity being uncovered.

It’s a good concept for a low-budget character-based sci-fi drama, but the way the story plays out is, frankly, frustrating. The characters and world are set up nicely – Bauer’s the untidy one who won’t stop singing The Clash, Cartwright just wants to get his job done but is hiding the fact he’s having visions of his lost love. There’s clear tension here, and Reedus and Hounsou convey this unstable friendship nicely. And then they spend half the film looking on some shelves for a bed. 

Nevertheless, Cantamessa and production designer Brian Kane have done a good job of making the bunker into an effectively claustrophobic setting, with the technology being a great cross between futuristic and falling apart, in the same way that made iconic sets such as the Nostromo and the Millennium Falcon so believable. 

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