I went into Seth Larney’s (Tombiruo) film 2067 with some reservations. Perhaps following up LX 2048 with another long, 114 minutes, film set in a future where man has destroyed the planet might not have been the best of ideas. But on the other hand, after that shitshow, anything had to look good in comparison, right?
By the year 2067 man has deforested the planet. The resultant loss of oxygen supply has wiped out all animal and most human life as well. What’s left of the population survives in one domed city, sustained by artificial oxygen. Ethan Whyte (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road, Let Me In) works underground helping to keep the nuclear power source that the city depends on stable. There’s nothing unusual about him except the blinking red bracelet his father gave him before he vanished. That is until a message arrives from the future “Send Ethan Whyte”.
It seems his father (Aaron Glenane, Snowpiercer, Picnic at Hanging Rock) was part of a team working on a time machine before he vanished, and it’s finally been finished. With a disease caused by the artificial oxygen afflicting more of the city’s residents, including Ethan’s wife Xanthe (Sana’a Shaik, Hunting For Shadows) he literally has the fate of the world in his hands.
One thing I liked right away about 2067 is it doesn’t try to hide the fact it’s an Australian film. No badly faked American accents like so many other recent films. One thing it does hide however is its low budget. The film has some excellent effects, especially those depicting Ethan’s city. The fact Larney primarily works in digital effects shows here, as he obviously knew how to get as much of the budget on the screen as possible. Along with some beautiful scenery in the future scenes, this is a visually stunning film.
Films about time travel have a tendency to end up with messy and convoluted stories and 2067 is no exception. Larney and co-writer Dave Paterson try to keep it fairly straight forward, but when the first thing Ethan sees when he arrives in the future is his own corpse, there’s no way to avoid it getting tangled up. I don’t want to give to much away in regards 2067’s plot as it does have a few surprises up its sleeve. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot that’s familiar too, especially once Ethan’s buddy Jude (Ryan Kwanten, Dead Silence, Kill Chain) is sent to help and protect him.
It’s interesting to watch all the pieces fall into place as Ethan figures out what is going on and how it connects with his past. Yes, being able to guess chunks of it took the edge off of my enjoyment, but there was still enough that I didn’t guess to keep me interested. And surprisingly, for a film that runs just under two hours, it doesn’t drag.
If it feels a bit too sombre by the end you can always follow it up with Mega Time Squad, a time-travelling crime comedy from next door in New Zealand. RLJE Films will release 2067 in theatres, on Demand and Digital on October 2nd. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information.