Chronical: 2067 (2020)

Director: Seth Larney

Running Time: 114 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ryan Kwanten, Sana'a Shaik, Deborah Mailman, Aaron Glenane

As the film opens, we're informed of the perilous state the Earth is in. Humanity is at risk due to the air being so polluted, and the only way to breathe is through manufactured air canisters. A message arrives from the future which offers hope, indicating their saviour may be a young recluse named Ethan (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Hoping to find the way of saving his time, he travels 400 years into future, but encounters more than he expected.

There are interesting ideas within, brought alive by writer and director Seth Larney. It's fascinating to imagine how bad things have gotten, that something as vital as oxygen is now a commodity you must purchase to have access to. This leads into an interesting idea about the moralities of letting humanity go extinct, in order to save the Earth. It's unfortunate we only get hints to these interesting ideas, as they're pushed aside for a more tiresome plotline. What's left feels like a point laboured across an overlong runtime, not helped by the repetitive flashbacks we witness.

Leading things is Kodi Smit-McPhee, playing the role of Ethan Whyte. He's had a traumatic upbringing which made him resentful over his deceased scientist father, and isn't having a better time in the present, as his plot device of a wife is coughing up blood. It says a lot that we spend so much time with the lead character, but have little reason to care for him. A tortured past does not automatically make for an interesting character, and that's clear here. Supporting Ethan is Jude, a close friend played by Ryan Kwanten. Their friendship seems intended to tug at your heartstrings, but it unfortunately feels so hollow. There is little to the character, seeming to exist to raise viewers suspicions.

The cast is full of actors who can deliver terrific work, but they feel rather hampered here. Some of them unfortunately appear cartoonish amidst this po-faced feature, while nobody is helped by the ham-fisted dialogue, or being reduced to screaming. Worst of all, the emotional beats just don't feel earned. A moment where Ethan sees thriving plant-life should be awe-inspiring, as he takes in a miraculous sight, but is unfortunately rather ho-hum. It just all feels so flat and lifeless, much like the world our characters inhabit, and that's a shame.

Chronical: 2067 is available on DVD and Digital Download