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Kodi Smit-McPhee stars in the sci-fi infection thriller 2067.

Arcadia

  • 2067
  • Written and directed by Seth Larney
  • Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ryan Kwanten
  • Classification N/A; 119 minutes

rating

2 out of 4 stars


If your idea of sci-fi escapism involves a world where everyone walks around wearing a mask and society is on the brink of total environmental collapse then, um, enjoy this ambitious, confusing and slightly undercooked dystopia adventure from Australian director Seth Larney.

Taking place in the titular year, when all plant life is extinct and the Earth is unable to produce oxygen, Larney’s tale focuses on one young working stiff named Ethan (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is sent on a top-secret government mission 400 years into the future. Turns out that scientists, or someone, four centuries from now has figured out a way to fix the oxygen crisis, but specifically requests Ethan to send their secrets back in time. Or something like that.

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Smit-McPhee wails and garbles through his lead role with grating abandon.

Arcadia

Larney’s script is either a time-travel theorist’s dream or nightmare, with the justifications and consequences of Ethan’s journey offering Primer-level migraines. Or perhaps the throbbing feeling in my head was due to the film’s abundance of sentimental flashbacks to Ethan’s boyhood, when his scientist father heartlessly abandoned his family.

Despite the too-twisty story and drippy characters, Larney does extremely impressive work with a limited budget, creating an entire world (or two) as if he had the resources of a Marvel escapade, or at the very least a Terminator entry. It’s only a shame that his performers don’t quite match his aesthetic ingenuity, especially Smit-McPhee, who wails and garbles with grating abandon. You might think the actor best known for his role in The Road would be used to apocalypses by now. But I guess we’re all a little caught off-guard when the world ends.

2067 is available digitally on-demand starting Oct. 2

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