Simple Review: You’ll wish for the apocalypse
Who knew the end of the world would be such a cornucopia of ideas for movies from our beloved Hollywood? We have witnessed apocalypses at the hands of zombies, Apes with guns, Cyborgs with bigger guns and Austrian accents and Australians in S&M outfits ( frankly, that last one is the scariest!). That is just the tip of the Titanic sinking iceberg (too soon?) and with the current state of the world, it is not surprising this genre is in demand with audiences. Thanks to the gift that keeps on giving, Netflix, I have seen our beloved celestial home on the brink of extinction more times than I can count, as I only have ten fingers and math was never my subject in school. This week I took a chance on another “end of the world” movie, IO, to see if the human race survives yet another threat to our existence. So, did IO gather enough supplies to keep us alive or did those leather-clad Australians run it over in their post-apocalyptic jalopies? The only way to find out is to put on your oxygen mask and follow me into the catastrophic ruins of this review!
In my never-ending quest to bring you, my faithful reader, a sliver of honesty in this world of fake news, fake I.Ds and fake butts, I have to let you know early on that this movie almost killed my love for film. I can handle a bad movie. I can even handle a flat out terrible movie because despite being awful there may be some joy found in the schlock. IO simply exists to suck the joy out of your life and make you wonder if the end of the world might not be such a bad thing. To give a quick plot synopsis before we dive right into the negatives the movie delivers, as there are zero positives, IO is about Sam, a scientist that stayed on Earth after most of the population fled into space to escape disease-causing pollution that is covering the Earth. Sam meets another survivor trying to get to the last shuttle taking off for IO, a moon of Jupiter, before they are trapped forever. Sound exciting? It is not!
This may be my most challenging review as I have no idea where to start with this horrid waste of 96 minutes of my life. Director Jonathan Helpert and the three writers ( and I use that word loosely) have given us a movie devoid of anything creative or remotely memorable. There are no interesting camera shots, no attempt at artistry with the cinematography and nothing unique to justify this film’s existence. If we gave an eight-year-old child a camera for an hour he or she would accidentally have at least one interesting shot to enjoy, but not the geniuses behind IO. After the movie mercifully ended, I wondered aloud how this movie even got made. I mean, who read this script and decided to pay people to actually make the damned thing? Whoever they are please give them my number I have a few terrible scripts I have written I would gladly sell them!
The acting in this movie is just flat out bad. Not the good kind of overacting type of bad, just bland, lifeless line reading. I did not recognize the main actress in the film Margaret Qually, as Sam, from any other movie and she is just as unmemorable in this one. This is a character that has been living alone for years yet she has no effects from this solitude. No interesting quirks or being on the edge of insanity from the isolation, she is just going about her business like nothing threating is just around the corner. Believe me, the lack of human interaction is going to cause a person to do crazy things, like start a movie review blog. I don’t know who to blame the writers or the actress but they took zero chances with this character that desperately needed to have any kind of struggle so we can appreciate the final pay off for her. Instead, she is so bland I kind of believe everyone in the movie left Earth just to get away from her boringness. Anthony Mackie is just as dull and seems to be half asleep through most of his screen time, which is disappointing as he is usually a charismatic actor that makes any film he is in better. I guess an easy payday is hard to say no to. The worst part is they are the only two actors in the movie, save for one scene with Danny Huston, who was smart enough to get out of this movie quick. For this to work the two leads needed to have incredible chemistry to make any connection they have to be believable, but these two have less chemistry than a pair of rocks.
I don’t go into a movie trying to make it what it is not if that makes sense, but this movie was handled so poorly that during the runtime I tried to fix it. First of all, this movie should have been a much quieter film at the beginning. As we follow Sam around she is keeping an audio log telling us what she is doing, when it would have been a better viewing experience to simply follow her without the narration and try to figure out what her character is up to. Tell her story visually so we can engage our minds to see if what we think is happening is correct, thus keeping us interested in the story. Spelling it out is lazy and insulting to your audience. Give both her and Anthony Mackie’s characters quirks and idiosyncrasies from living alone for so long that way the audience can relate to them as human beings dealing with terrible situations. Give us some sense of a threat! The world is ending, but we never see why the population fled, nor the effects of the toxic atmosphere, save for one scene involving a storm that is so powerful that it can be held back by plastic and duct tape. Build the relationship between the two characters in a realistic way. Sam has been alone for a long time but when Anthony Mackie just shows up out of the blue, she completely trusts him inviting him into her home and telling him all about herself. He should have to earn her trust as I would assume some people in a post-apocalyptic world might not have everyone’s best interests in mind. If they learn to trust in a believable way then their relationship makes sense, instead, we get them thrown together just because. UGH, how hard is it to make a good movie, geez!!
We have reached the end of this wasteland of a movie review and Furiosa isn’t driving her war rig to save us from mean old IO. In case you couldn’t figure it out by now, I found this movie to be terrible and one of the worst I have seen in a long time. Do not waste your precious time and energy on this abomination, instead, call a loved one, start a new hobby or stare at the ceiling fan and wonder what your dog finds so fascinating about that whirling contraption. Anything would be better than watching IO. No need to thank me for enduring this catastrophe so you don’t have to, I don’t do it for the accolades I do it so I can sleep at night knowing you are safe from these terrible movies!
I hope you enjoyed my musings and if you did please like, follow and share my beloved blog so, together, we can cleanse the world of bad filmmaking!
As Always, thanks for your time!
The Movie Psycho