the post-apocalyptic future, two technicians will wrestle with some thorny
issues of lifeboat ethics. They happens to be in charge of the lifeboat
maintenance, but they are not as stable as you might hope. Complications will
most definitely arise in Christian Cantamessa’s AIR (trailer
first theatrical release from Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s Skybound shingle, which opens this Friday in
to war, pestilence, and plague, the Earth’s surface atmosphere has become
toxic. An elite lucky few were sent into suspended animation in deep subterranean
bunkers. In each lifeboat-like shelter, two not so lucky technicians are roused
every six months to run diagnostics and check the sleepers’ vitals. They only
have one hour and fifty nine minutes to get back in their pods before all the
oxygen is sucked out of the bunker and back into the tanks.
both Bauer and Cartwright are showing signs of stress. The former is becoming
increasingly aggressive, while the latter is seeing visions of one of the
suspended scientists he clearly fancies. However, his mental projection of Abby
often manages to give him rather timely advice. He will need it when his
personal pod suffers a malfunction.
apocalypse is usually more compelling on a personal level than on a big macro
plane—and AIR is a good case in
point. There is something very effectively old school about the one set (albeit
a rather complex one, impressively rendered by Brian Kane’s production team)
and its two or three character dynamic, depending one’s point-of-view.
Cantamessa has a firm handle on close-quarters action, dexterously slamming
airlocks and sending Bauer and Cartwright shimmying through air-ducts. Despite
its claustrophobic nature, AIR is
still quite cinematic looking.
stranger to Kirkman or playing twitchy survivors, Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus has instant credibility as Bauer, yet
he still manages to keep the audience off balance with his erratic behavior.
Djimon Hounsou is also well cast as Cartwright, the strong, silent,
hallucinating type. Although nobody could really sink their teeth into a role
like the apparitional Abby, Sandrine Holt still has the perfectly cerebral yet
sensitive presence to memorably haunt Cartwright and the film.
is another fine example of how inventive
filmmakers can make tight, tense, relatively action-oriented science fiction with
hardly any visual effects to speak of. Granted, it is small in scope, but
frankly that is rather refreshing in such an overly bloated genre. Recommended
pretty enthusiastically for fans of Kirkman and post-apocalyptic SF, AIR opens this Friday (8/14) in New
York, at the Cinema Village.
Labels: Djimon Hounsou, Norman Reedus, Post-Apocalpse movies, Robert Kirkman, Sandrine Holt, Sci-Fi films