I agree with other reviewers here. This movie had a lot of potential but it pulled up short. What we needed to see was the lead pushed to the extreme and degenerating into a psychopath. Either that or see her go down a braver, more positive route. In the current form the movie is uncomfortably middle-of-the-road, not cartoony enough, but also not realistic enough. Essentially it's a story about human failure, none of the characters are likeable, nobody does the brave thing, and ultimately the viewer is left feeling cheated. Basically I didn't take anything positive away from this.
The movie needed to either:
a) Make Cassie out for justice in a real way, but not at the cost of ruining her life.
or b) Make Cassie a vengeful heroine, a warrior.
Unfortunately they went with c) Cassie is a disturbed victim in a weird mash of a movie with romcom elements.
Well shot and mostly well acted. However the story is an incredibly weird mash of ideas that don't sit together well. Nothing is well explained. There are so many questions. Why are women being impregnated with bombs? Why are they all wearing matching underwear? Why is she immortal? I could literally fill an entire page with questions like this.
This film was supposed to be about the relationship between Laura and Tyler. It's a special friendship but there's dangerous side. Unfortunately the film wanders way off course and the last third of the film explores Laura cheating on her fiance. Is she doing this (subconciously) so she can stay with Tyler? Didn't come across that way. I think the screenwriter urgently needed to sit down and cut a lot out of the movie and focus on what it was really about. Basically we needed more Tyler.
We also urgently needed to see these characters at their day jobs. Laura says she's a waitress (I think). We needed to see her struggling through an awful hungover day. Or being fired for showing up late. We see them drinking through the week but there's not much flipside. There's no consequences.
Probably the most glaring oddity is the scene where Tyler (apparently) steals a jar of unspecified drugs (MDMA crystals? methamphetamine?). It's a truly hefty quantity presumably worth many thousands of euros. How did they get away with this? Why isn't there someone hunting for it?
Whittaker and Bloom run around and stuff happens to them. There are many implausible scenes that don't withstand analysis. In one of the worst Bloom visits a police scientist to get some drugs checked out. The scientist tells us a bunch of absolute nonsense, something about meth except with some new molecules designed to invoke fear responses. As he says this you can see the actor is not at all convinced. He's basically grimacing at the unconvincing lines he's been given. Next we see that he's already completed a sophisticated study of the drug on rats, despite apparently only having just recently been given the drugs.
Sometime later the police order a DNA test on a fresh crime scene and get the results the same morning. They then identify the suspect but by the afternoon his head has been found in a garbage bin. Things happen too fast to be realistic and after a while the plot just feels random.
abstract, tedious and full of unanswered questions
It's pretty bad, but still I found it relaxing.
The entire movie relies on the idea that somehow the entire surface of the earth has been destroyed. There's no attempt to explain how this happened, and it's a very shaky foundation to build an entire movie on. Because this isn't explained there are unsatisfying scenarios all throughout the movie that just evoke a sense of "why"? and "what the hell"? For example - How could the spaceship possibly not know about the situation? What do the two astronauts who return to earth expect to achieve? We also don't know if there's any established settlement on Jupiter's moon. If there isn't why would the other astronauts attempt to return there? And if there is, why aren't they in communication?
So yeah, basically a lot of why? and what the hell? But if you're someone who doesn't ask many questions from the narrative you can probably still find it enjoyable just watching the pretty images.
I really wanted to like this more. I think episode 6 was the nail in the coffin for me. Unfortunately the main characters themselves commit monstrous acts and it's unsettling to sympathize with them.
We see episode 6 from the perspective of a Korean sex demon, who has already killed 99 men by exploding them during sex. Before destroying them in a shower of blood she also experiences their memories and "absorbs" their souls. At one point she says she's seen more bad than good, but even so this leaves room for a lot of innocent guys. We also see her seducing a complete stranger so it's hard to imagine that she actually knows the men before she pulverizes them. She also has a mother who is actively encouraging her to kill in the vague uncertain hope that this will bring back the soul of her true daughter.
So I found it fairly difficult to sympathize with this woman. We see her loving Judy Garland movies but the contrast between the grotesque and the saccharine just put me off more. Similarly in this episode, we see Atticus the soldier murdering and torturing innocent nurses. He doesn't visibly see shaken up by it, and it's hard to imagine someone committing atrocities and then making casual banter about Alexandre Dumas. Typically murder and torture is the behaviour of the antagonists in a horror show. It's hard to see these guys as the good guys.
Another case in point is when the Montrose character murders the strange girl they find. The sympathetic scenes that follow in the subsequent episode didn't work for me because he murdered this girl for really no good reason. The disconnect in this show is simply too great at times. The contrasting scenes, the horrific behaviour of the lead characters, makes me feel turned off.
Haven't seen mention of this anywhere, but this film bears a strong resemblance to a Ray Bradbury short story: "The Last Night of the World". The story features in the quite famous collection "The Illustrated Man", which has inspired other films and projects over the years.
Anyway how about this film? Well if it is indeed inspired by a short story then it urgently needed more narrative. Films based on short stories often suffer the same problem! There's just not enough ideas here and many scenes just drag on as if the crew is consciously trying to stretch to reach a feature length.
There's also an ambiguity about whether this is a contagious psychological disease, affecting the main characters only, or whether this is affecting all humanity simultaneously. The two ideas don't coexist that well. When we see that two other women by the pool also know they're dying, it undermines the idea that the fear is being passed just from person to person.
So ultimately I don't rate the film very highly, it feels like a well-acted student project but it's lacking in punch. It feels more like a riff on an interesting idea. A lot of the scenes feel spontaneous. I was left unsatisfied.
Unfortunately there's not enough substance here to fill up an entire feature film. There's A LOT of padding. For example the scene where they're listening to ska music in the car. It doesn't add anything much to the movie. It feels like the actors were told to just make up a dialogue on the spot.
For a movie of this kind to sustain our attention for a full hour and a half there needs to be more than just the initial concept. Unfortunatley there's not. There's no twist. There's no second act. There's a really interesting "nightmare"-type scene towards the end which feels for a moment like the movie's finally going somewhere. But then it dissipates and we're left with nothing much once more.
Why didn't the protagonists try and decipher the book that was delivered? Surely that was a vital clue? What caused their health to fail? Why didn't they try breaking into other houses on the street? I wanted these characters to fight to the death but they really went out with a wimper.
Could have been great.... but wasn't. Watch "the Platform" instead if you want surreal horror with a message.
Great but becomes a confused mess around episode 5
I was thoroughly absorded until approximately the midpoint of the series. The plot became too wishy washy. Plot strands were abandoned.
The most distracting episode involves the gang heading out to the lighthouse to conduct an exorcism. They say that the old school was built on this island which only has tidal access. What the heck? Who in the history of mankind has ever built a big substantial school on a tiny tidal island?
We see shots of the lighthouse on the tiny island. And then we see the school. We never see them in the same shot. If we're really supposed to believe there's a school on this stupid island then couldn't they at least have photshopped it in? What the hell?
The policeman tries to conduct an exorcism to put the witches spirit into the dog. There's no explanation as to why he thinks the witch will occupy the dog and not one of the gang. Of course the witch occupies the policeman and kills him. Then subsequently the witch occupies the Nono character and disappears him into the lighthouse.
Nobody mentions the Nono character or his brother ever again. I thought they were the best friends in the world? They don't even know if they're dead or not! But Emma doesn't go looking for them, and if she thinks they are dead she doesn't seem upset. She goes to visit Seby on the way out of town, seems reasonable she would stop by the relatives of the missing (dead?) brothers.
What else happened? Aurore and Emma are both protected in the final episode by a medallion/necklace. This thing plays a big role in saving the day. Was it just me or was this necklace not introduced beforehand? Did I miss something?
What's going on with the final episode? The second last episode is a great "characters sort out their stuff" story. Logically the last episode would follow on from that but instead Alan is stuck trying to convince Nadya she's about to be hit by a car. Would make more sense if he had to remind her about her childhood and tell her that she didn't actually cause her mother's death.
Also the weird parade with the homeless guy is super odd. This is a guy who wanders around with no shoes in the park. He's clearly not working with a super-coordinated artist troupe making giant puppets.
So this guy makes a genius suit that can make himself invisible. He goes to the enormous effort of faking his own death. He could do anything now. But he devotes ALL his time to stalking his former wife. Surely he's got something better to do? Nope.
Damn someone fakes their death, upends his entire life. Just to stalk his wife? Kinda weird. It would make more sense if he had something else on the boil as well.
My other problem is that nobody notices that someone is still living in his house. The lights are on. Somebody's feeding the dog. But nobody notices? And why doesn't the protagonist simply tell people to investigate his house? Instead she's telling everyone he's invisible and naturally they think she's bonkers.
Must the premise be scientifically credible to make a good film? No
Do the ideas in the story have to be consistent across the series? Yes
Should the scriptwriters do a basic google search before they write a ridiculous line into the dialogue? Yes
So here's some things for the scriptwriters to think about:
*Why does the educated guy tell the pilots that the sun is affecting the DNA of the food? DNA damage implies mutation, something that affects LIVING plants and animals. Is this guy trying to confuse the pilots? What the heck.
*Similarly it doesn't follow at all that (alleged) gamma rays which kill living creatures would somehow destroy the non-living petrol. If the jet petrol has been so degraded that it will no longer combust, then you would expect all kinds of stuff to be disintegrating - ie plastics, etc. And why would the truck petrol be ok?
* Why does Slyvie speak in French about throwing the soldiers off the flight when she doesn't know how much French the soldier speaks? She also uses easy words like Afghanistan, and criminelle. What the hell?
* We know the story is taking place between September and March because they tell us that there will be more daylight in Hawaii. So it's in the colder months. Are they really walking around in Canada in the night without noticing the cold?
* Why would this educated guy be completely unconcerned about a report that an animal (a ferret?) has survived the death rays? It appears that all life, plant, animal, food and even petrol is dead or dying. Surely anything stil alive is a vital clue?
* If the passengers have internet connections, why aren't they using their spare time to research their situation? Surely there's someone alive somewhere to post on the internet (Arctic bases where it's continually dark in winter?). Even if there's no-one whatsoever alive, why aren't the passengers desperately looking into gamma rays, trying to find any information that might help them live? Instead they sit around fighting with each other.
However the really bad news is that there's nowhere near enough time to fly around the world at the lattitude of Brussels, have many adventures and yet stay in the dark the entire time. I added up all the passenger flight times and it came to 41 hours of flying time. For perspective the longest night of the year is 16hours in Brussels, so once around the world plus one night would be 24hours + 16 = 40hours. They then fly east to Bulgaria and when they get there the NATO guy says they have been flying for a week? What the heck.
Despite the above points, I still found this really enjoyable. I think if they had spent a little time finessing the script then it could have been really great.
I watched this in french on Netflix and paused it a lot so that I could translate.
Interesting for a while, however the plot takes us to a few less than credible places... The titular gang gets mixed up with a much-less-principled gang, apparently because of a "hot" gun that was sold to a member of said gang. Ok sure, but do they really have NO OTHER OPTION other than an incredibly risky braqueur smash grab of a huge pile of heroin? They seem resigned to fighting this nasty crew anyway, it's not clear why they don't just take them on right away, rather than undertaking such a risky operation before hand. They even apparently leave a skillion euros worth of heroin just lying on the warehouse floor.
It also turns out this nasty gang has kidnapped their loved ones, the worst of it is that they kill the cute wife of the nicest braqueur. As the director deliberately doesn't show us the body we can presume she is raped or mutilated or possibly both. It's a drastic shift in tone from tough action movie into ugly grimness and I personally found it a real downer.
There's a lot of reviews here making points such as "could not happen".
Ok sure, there's some unrealistic stuff going on.
But there's also a lot of original and thoughtful scenes that are explored. There's a lot of ideas here that feel completely fresh.
The idea that a French submarine, once committed to a nuclear strike, will not receive any orders to abort, is a weak one. Unfortunately a large part of the movie hinges around this concept. The second half of the movie does feel a little silly at times because of this.
Don't let the twist ruin your date night - be warned!
I really liked the first half of the movie. However the twist completely changes the tone of the movie and it's hard to find it funny. I strongly recommend that the audience DO KNOW the plot before watching it. Spoilers follow.
Ok, so the first half is quite funny, sorta like a funnier version of Fargo, set in Alabama. Two dudes accidentally kill the third member of their (absymally awful) rock band. We don't know how they did it, but it's funny watching them try to cover it up, and it's well acted and directed.
Then suddenly it becomes a beastiality movie. Yep, these three guys have been regularly having sex with a nearby horse. Somehow they actually got the horse to penetrate their friend and he was fatally ploughed. Although the scene where this is revealed is quite hilarious (and shocking), I didn't find anything to laugh about in the final half of the film. It was well acted, but the lead characters appeared now sad, sick and pathetic, instead of comic.
And it's really really unsexy. So I strongly do not recommend you watch this if you want to get laid afterwards.
"Power surges" that can destroy earth are abandoned plotline with blue sparkles
My review is pretty much in the title.
There was a lot of shabby science in this movie, however I'm willing to overlook some of that in exchange for beautiful cinema.
However I draw the line at abandoning what is arguably the major plot point of the entire movie - specifically the "power surges". Early on we learn that the whole solar system is at risk from these incredible waves of energy that emanate from Neptune. What's causing them? Well, evidently the mystery will be explained somewhere in the movie (it will won't it?).
I'm imagining that whatever is going on up there on Neptune is going to be pretty god damn special. Some kind of MASSIVE BASE with huge particle accelerators the size of a planet. Some kind of gigantic black-hole machine that Tommy Lee Jones has hijacked and is using to create a intergalactic portal. Must be right?
Nope. Just Tommy floating in orbit in a tiny ship. Do we at least see him dabbling on this tiny ship with some source of unimaginable power. Nah. He's just watching old movies and talking about aliens. What the heck were the screen-writers thinking?! Apparently they decided by that point that the "power surge" plotline was just too difficult to explain. Better just pretend that it was never introduced. Maybe try and focus on the father-son relationship and hope the audience doesn't notice.
All we see on the side of the ship is some blue sparkly thing. Is this paltry blue sparkle the source of solar-system-destroying power? Was Tommy doing it on purpose? Was it some weird accident? Who knows. Best not to ask. Just send Brad back to earth and roll the credits.
Am I the only one who found the Lojack scene hard to swallow?
Ok, so there's 1500+ written reviews and this is probably just a drop in the ocean...
But did anyone else find that Lojack scene contrived? Old Joe is scanning the El Camino for a Lojack - without explaining to anyone what he's doing. Suddenly the Lojack triggers - apparently it has just been "activated" by the company, or possibly the police. Is this an unforgivable coincidence or what? It activates at precisely the time Old Joe is looking for it!!!! If it had triggered even a minute before or after then the cops would have arrived unnanounced. What the hell Vince Gilligan. Be ashamed.
Or is it perhaps that Old Joe himself accidentally triggers the Lojack? Seems unlikely that he would be dumb enough to use a scanner that could in fact trigger the Lojack. This seems like a long shot, although this was in fact my first interpretation of the scene. I had to rewatch more than once. I'm pretty sure that Lojack only exists in America, so foreign audiences (including myself) have even less idea what is going on.
In my opinion this is the weakest scene in the entire movie and desperately needed to be dropped from the script.
Ok - so there's three narratives and the protagonist in each story is actually "writing" one of the other stories. So there's a circle of stories. If this was the weirdest thing about the film then maybe it would all have worked. Unfortunately each of the three stories has about the zaniest plot you've ever come across.
Two of the narratives especially feature some really nuts plot about sex and body image. Gael Garcia plays a promiscuous film director who needs to sleep with the female producer in order to keep his job, but suddenly with no explanation his penis shrinks to a useless size. He buys an expensive prosthetic but incredibly it catches fire when he's in the water. In what feels like the secondary narrative a female gets huge breast implants but almost immediately wants them removed. In order to get money to reverse the operation she smuggles drugs inside a sex doll.
Ok so I have many problems with this movie. Firstly, we really don't see these characters writing very much. It's hard to believe they have time to create these extra narratives when their own life is so full-on. We also don't see these characters working enough on their art.
Secondly, the narratives are really too different. If these people are writing each other's stories you would imagine they would have a cathartic component. However they seem to be just writing zany nonsense. I found it particularly strange that the sex-doll woman invents a promiscuous film director and describes him as her "perfect man" (and then subsequently shrinks his penis). Why would she invent such a bizarre story? What's her motivation?
Also the frequent and drastic tonal shifts in the stories make them hard to hold onto. A case in point is when the sex-doll worker guy suddenly announces he has gang connections and is now pulling a massive drug deal out of thin air. What the heck? Where did this come from? Who is he buying from and selling to?
Anyway if you need some weirdness you've come to the right place.
In France "zone blanche" (white zone) is the common term for an area without phone reception. Maybe it's a country area without enough mobile phone towers. In English we'd probably call an area with poor coverage a "black spot".
But ok, "black spot" has quite a lot of other connotations. Makes me think of paint spilt on a dress or something.
Maybe blank spot would have been better, or maybe blank zone. I don't know. Actually I think "poor coverage" would kinda be interesting.
Ok, if you were expecting something like Irreversible or Enter the Void then you will be very very disappointed.
I don't think Noe is trying hard enough here. This feels like a student film made in a weekend. It may well have been made in only a few hours. It's quick and crude.
It appears that an actual dance troupe was hired and encouraged to "act". There appears to have been no script whatsoever.
The best parts of the movie are some very long dance routines. They take up almost half the movie, it's quite impressive but during the second one I found myself reaching for the fast forward button.
The second half of the film is incredibly boring. The contrast with the beginning is clunky. It's an entire group of twenty people acting randomly and violently, without any story. It goes on and on... there's a rough concept about a sangria spiked with LSD but that's about as much story as we get. Why did the dancers become so violent and horrible? Not explained. There's some cheap camera stunts and then the film ends.
It's super embarrassing that Noe turned this out.
Also note, I am a huge fan of electronic music, and the soundtrack really wasn't all that hot in my opinion. The long tracks played in the dance scenes are super repetitive and become tedious. The film seems to be attempting to be set in the 1990s but the music is evidently not from that time period, which contributes to the cheap quick and nasty vibe of this production.
Why are jocks having a public drinking contest at 9am on a Monday morning? Surely that isn't part of a normal college backdrop.
Why is the protagonist surprised to find herself late for the class? She checks her watch when she wakes up, and she knows it's after 9am. Why would she be surprised to find it is 9:20 a few minutes later?
Why do dozens of people come to her surprise party? Is she really that popular? She acts like a outsider and describes herself as a "bad person". It's hard to believe that she has that many friends.
Why is her lecturer apparently teaching chemistry, yet also acts as a college doctor and apparently runs x-rays and other scans on the protagonist?
These and other flaws in the backdrop make it hard to believe Tree is living in a regular world. These flaws are quite jarring and tend to derail the (very ambitious) concept of the recurring day.
Despite the flaws this is still a super fun movie.
The lead is in every scene and does an amazing job. She looks far too old to be a naive college student and she looks older than many of the other characters in the movie. However her on-screen presence is great and she's fun to watch.