Io – A film review

Io is a 2019 release on Netflix. It is a post-apocalyptic film directed by Jonathon Helpert and starring Margaret Qualley and Anthony Mackie and that is it.

The film essentially only has two actors, Margarets father is seen once and we have the recorded voice of her fiance but other than that it is just these two actors.

The premise is that the Earth is doomed, mankind as ruined the biosphere and breathable air is hard to find, most of the human population has left the planet for an station orbiting Io. They are planning a new colonisation mission to Centauri. The whole film takes place on a depopulated Earth where our lead Sam (Qualley) lives with her father researching who nature is adapting to the loss of oxygen. They hope that the Earth is more resilient and will show signs of recovery before the solar system is abandoned.

Mackies character, Micah, arrives at her research station in a hot air balloon ostensibly to kill her Father for persuading so many to remain on Earth, for giving them false hope. His motive evolves into something more altruistic and he decides to make sure Sam makes it to the last shuttles leaving Earth for Io.

The two handed nature of the piece promises an interesting dialogue between two viewpoints or ideologies, what is it to be human on the planet when it is dying? sadly we never get this. The film is sluggish and ultimately predictable. It is hard to engage with either lead and I found myself not caring if either got of the planet. There was fertile ground for the ‘life finds a way’ angle but this seemed more of a sub plot, a reason for them still being there rather than the main plot of which there was little.

The cast were good but the story and depth of ideas was nothing more than superficial. Its not often I tell people not to bother with a film, but this sadly is one such movie.

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