People see movies according to what they bring to the movie, and for every thumbs up for a very good film, there’s always a thumbs down by other reviewers who saw the same movie but were left hanging.
Case in point is Australia’s new cli-fi movie titled “2067. I wrote about it on this blog platform the other day, giving New York film critic Julian Roman’s thumbs up view of the 114-minute story. My post can be read here: ”Australian cli-fi movie ‘2067’ is cerebral SF, puts ‘Down Under’ on Hollywood map”
No sooner was my blog up online than another Manhattan film critic, Johnny Oleksinski, writing for the rightwing New York Post, weighed in with his negative review of the very same movie.
The Earth of “2067” has just about run out of air and, for the most part, out of humans, Johnny tells us. “The only folks left are a community of Australians working way Down Under — beneath the planet’s surface — and subsisting on one corporation’s artificial oxygen that is beginning to sicken some who use it.”
“The O2 rejection epidemic is going to wipe out the human race in a handful of years,” says a shady character in the movie who’s also sort of a villain.
Johnny interjects: “For those of you who think this plot is a realistic cautionary tale for our messy century, wait till I get to the part where, a mere 47 years from now, we’ve invented time travel.”
It turns out that in Australia there is a temporal portal which has informed Earthlings that 400 years in the future, air has somehow returned to their hurting home. The test run also comes back with a mysterious message: “Send Ethan Whyte.” All right, then. Ethan (an appealing but shout-happy character played by Kodi Smit-McPhee), the spindly son of a scientist, is suited up and whooshed into the 25th century to discover the secret to saving humankind.
“The revelation that Ethan has is right up there with what’s inside Al Capone’s vault,” quips Johnny.
From there, the movie alters course from a finger-wagging climate change disaster flick to a confounding climate change disaster flick, opines the film critic for the New York Post. On the Earth of 2067, Ethan discovers trees and refreshing breezes and, unfortunately, his own skeleton and a recording of his death. He figures he must’ve failed his mission and learns more about his fatal predicament when his friend (Ryan Kwanten) shows up. Can he change his fate? Who knows?
“Nothing is worse in time-travel movies than when the script tortures you into trying to understand its creaky logic,” Soleksinski quips.
The critic’s judgment? A thumbs down: “Most of this film is humorless and with not so much of a score as a subwoofer.”
However, director and co-writer Seth Larney has at the same time somehow managed to make his small indie movie look full-bodied ”regardless of its relatively small budget.”
Final cli-fi verdict: “The Day After Tomorrow” was fun to watch in 2004; “2067”in 2020 is not. You be the judge. Me, I liked the movie!.
If you’re of a certain age, you might remember another sci-fi space comedy, Mel Brooks’ 1987 comedy “Spaceballs,” in which President Skroob of Planet Spaceball frantically reaches into his desk drawer for a can of “Perri-Air” canned oxygen, Johnny tells us. noting: ”The dude has overseen the decline of the world’s air supply, so he keeps a six-pack of the stuff to chug in private.”
For Johnny Soleksinski in New York in 2020, that scene was a hilarious gag that has been beefed up into an awfully self-serious science fiction movie some 30 years later called “2067.” He’s not telling his friends to see it.