A beautiful nugget of an idea, ruined in its execution.
Ethan Whyte (Kodi Smit-McPhee) lives on a dying Earth, where there is no natural oxygen produced anymore, and the artificial oxygen produced by corporations is likely to kill you with ‘the sickness’. His Dad, a renowned scientist, disappeared when he was young, and left him only with a dead mother and a bracelet with a glowing red dot he can’t take off. Ethan was brought up by his friend Jude (Ryan Kwanten), who has his back through thick and thin. It’s no wonder, then, that when the head of the remaining society, Regina Jackson (Deborah Mailman), needs Ethan to journey through a time-wormhole his father created and find a cure for the oxygen crisis, Jude goes with him. Together, Ethan and Jude fly forward in time 400 years, to an Earth whose oxygen levels support life. Someone in the future requested Ethan be there - but to what end?
2067 at its centre has this beautiful sci-fi concept that makes it immensely compelling from the off. It’s central tenet of finding a solution in the future and reaching back to the past, the way it plays with oxygen as a capitalist resource, and even the fact that our hero is sought out by whoever is sending messages back from the future, all work together to create an instant attraction to this movie.
It also opens beautifully. The CGI in this film is seamless, and the initial scenes set in 2067 are reminiscent of Blade Runner.
The issues stem from how the story unfurls, and a little bit as well from the performances. At every twist and turn, 2067 runs itself deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of unfulfilled potential. Complex decisions and emotions become fodder for seen-before plot twists, and the movie ends up not only dull, but aggressively disappointing. Smit-McPhee, who is undoubtedly the biggest name here, gives a strange and dissociated performance, full of random outbursts and irrationality that makes absolutely no sense. He is unconvincing and uncompelling. The array of Australian actors and actresses also seem misaligned with the material. Kwanten is the only one who really stands out for his performance in a positive light, and then only because it feels normal compared to the subdued, sleepwalking performances of the rest of the cast.
In the end, the greatest issue with 2067 is the crushing disappointment that sweeps over you, as all of the interesting plot threads are waylaid for a plot that lacks complexity and interest.
2067 is a bitter disappointment.