“2067” is a rarity. It’s an ambitious sci fi drama, complete with quantum time machines and messages from the future, that portrays a possible end-of-the-world dilemma. We’ve seen that before but we haven’t seen a big Hollywood-style genre pic like this with Australian accents.
Aussie director Seth Larney, who worked in various capacities on everything from “The Matrix Reloaded” and “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “The Lego Movie,” aims for the stars with “2067,” now playing on Apple TV, Bell, Cineplex, Cogeco, Eastlink, Google Play, Microsoft XBOX, Rogers, Shaw and Telus.
Set in the year 2067 in a world ravaged by climate change, where oxygen is a precious resource and its synthetic alternative is making people ill. If humanity doesn’t find a cure life on earth will end. With all present-day remedies exhausted Chronicorp, the world’s leading supplier of manmade oxygen, builds a time machine to search the future for descendants who may be able to point the way to survival.
It’s a long shot but a message from 400 years in the future gives everyone hope. It says, succinctly, “Send Ethan Whyte.” Whyte (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a “tunnel rat,” an underground worker with a bad attitude and an ailing wife. Shot into the future with no idea of what awaits, he becomes humanity’s last hope.
“2067” is humanist sci fi. The grim picture it paints of a world destroyed by climate change is evocative but the focus isn’t on the quantum time doodads or rocketing through time, it’s about the characters and how these unfortunate situations affects them.
Kodi Smit-McPhee brings the attitude of a young man thrown into a situation he can’t comprehend, effectively portraying the resilience and determination needed to put together the disparate pieces of the plot’s puzzle.
The audience will need to share some of this resolve. Director Larney’s story is a bit of a spider web. Tangential connections are established between Whyte and the other characters, but the plot points that could make this story compelling are often telegraphed so far in advance the audience knows where the story is going before the characters have caught up. It is a straight line approach that doesn’t trust the viewer to stay with the movie’s twists and turns.
Add to that an undeniably distracting melodramatic score and “2067” becomes an ambitious but underwhelming sci fi survival story.