In the near future, breathable air is nonexistent and two engineers tasked with guarding the last hope for mankind struggle to preserve their own lives while administering to their vital task at hand.
ActorsStarring: Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt, Paula Lindberg, David Nykl, Peter Benson, Michael Hogan
After a global war, life has been destroyed by toxic fallout and the air is no longer breathable. Society has collapsed, and only a select few have been chosen to survive in special sleep chambers, waiting for the air to clear at some point in the future. Two engineers, Bauer and Cartwright, are woken up from their own sleep every so many months to do basic maintenance and keep an eye on the facility. During one such maintenance period they get 2 hours of air for them to do their work, but when an accident damages one of their own sleep chambers, they have to find a way to survive…
The set and atmosphere are pretty good and initially succeed in creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. There are basically only two characters – the two engineers – and the banter and between them initially is fine in setting things up. Bauer (Norman Reedus) is the grumpy one who, after many years of sleep interspersed with many more of these uneventful maintenance cycles, is beginning to wonder what the point is of what they are doing. Cartwright (Djimon Hounsou) is the conscientious one, dutifully following the procedures and trying to keep Bauer levelheaded along the way. However he keeps seeing, and talking to, a woman who clearly isn’t there…
As the incident happens that destroys one of their sleep chambers, the real story starts of course.
There are a variety of ideas and concepts that could have been explored, and the simple premise combined with the claustrophobic set and only two main characters would allow for some real exploration and tension building… But it just doesn’t go anywhere. After a decent set-up, it loses its on-on-one tension as the movie deteriorates into a predictable chase. And the sappy ending is just shameful.
One to skip.