Adelaide Film Festival 2020: 2067

What: 2067
When: This movie’s run is over, but keep your eyes out in case new sessions are added
Where: Palace Nova Cinemas
Cost: See AFF website for details

Kodi Smit-McPhee

The year is 2067 and plants are extinct. Humans are surviving off synthetic oxygen, but this is not really cutting it. Unable to go out without oxygen masks to breathe, many of us are dying of what’s dubbed “the Sickness”.

Enter Ethan Whyte, a low-level utility worker who spends his days underground soldering metal. His father, a scientist, branded him with a chunky black bracelet for his eighth birthday before mysteriously disappearing. His mother was killed just hours later. His wife has the Sickness. It’s fair to say he has some issues. When a message pings from 407 years in the future, demanding that the city sends Ethan Whyte through an experimental teleporter, Ethan quickly realises that the future is in his hands.

From left: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ryan Kwanten

As an Adelaide production, filmed mostly onset at Adelaide Studios, I was really excited to see 2067. Narratively it ticked my boxes, an interesting sci-fi that considers the doomed future of humanity due to climate change? ✅ However, unfortunately this movie promised more than it delivered.

The narrative of 2067 lacked strength and substance. The dialogue was full of clichés (“You might be humanity’s only chance!”) that made it feel simultaneously like it was trying too hard and tongue in cheek.

This wasn’t helped by characterisation and strong relationships, both of which were fairly weak. As Ethan, Kodi Smit-McPhee seemed strained most of the time and a little out of his comfort zone, while Ryan Kwanten, playing his best friend Jude, was too hammy in his machismo. Deborah Mailman as Regina Jackson was the standout, even in a terrible grey wig.

Kodi Smit-McPhee

Despite these issues, 2067 exceeded my expectations in VFX. It’s not surprising that many of the world’s biggest blockbusters send their VFX jobs to Australia, and this movie is a clear example of the talent we have locally in post-production. The animation is absolutely stunning. I love the contrast of the Blade Runner-esque city with the later scenes of overgrown ruins. The crew behinds this went above and beyond.

In the pre-screening talk, the movie’s writer and directer, Seth Larney, explains that “we can all do with a bit of hope, and that’s what this film’s all about.” Even if I leave the movie disappointed, this hope leaves the cinema with me.

2 out of 5 stars

Natalie Carfora

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