Chronical 2067 (2020)
Film review #564
Director: Seth Larney
SYNOPSIS: In the year 2067, Earth has suffered an almost complete ecological collapse. Humans survive only using synthetic oxygen, which has a side effect of making people sick. The only hope seems to be a top secret project by Chronicorp: a time machine that can travel into the future, where there is hope a cure can be found. However, the time machine has sent only one message through since it was activated: “Send Ethan Whyte”…
THOUGHTS/ANALYSIS: Chronical 2067 is a 2020 Australian sci-fi film. It is set in the year 2067, where Earth has undergone complete ecological collapse, and all plant-life has been wiped out. Humans only survives by breathing synthetic oxygen, which in turn gives them a deadly disease they call “The Sickness.” Ethan Whyte, a lowly technician, is called to Chronicorp headquarters where he is offered a job that apparently will save humanity: to travel to the future in a time machine to find a cure for The Sickness and bring it back, as the time machine has only sent a message from the computer that stated “send Ethan Whyte.” Since this indicates that someone is alive at the other end, it is assumed that the future has a cure for the sickness, since someone would have had to have sent the message, and Ethan agrees to go because his wife also has the sickness. The film attempts to create a lot of suspense and mystery surrounding the fate of the world, the message sent, and the disappearance of Ethan’s Father, but the main problem is it never really comes together, and neither are the situations Ethan is thrown into ever filled with that atmosphere. It’s fairly obvious that there is something more going on than has been revealed, but it never really builds up that mystery and suspense to keep the audience guessing. Typical story elements such as an estranged relationship with a Father, for example, further cement a feeling that you’ve seen it all before.
The characters are also fairly typical, and even though there’s an attempt to build them up, there’s not enough of a hook to make them solid pillars to the film. Coupled with some flat acting here and there, it overall just feels like it’s difficult to immerse yourself in their world and the setting. There’s some nice visual effects that are able to put you more in the main characters shoes, but there’s never enough to balance out the lows. Overall, there’s not much else to say about Chronical 2067: it presents a fair amount of mystery and a basic amount of intrigue, but never the suspense or drama that it needs to in order to hook a viewer into the mystery. There’s a constant feeling you’ve seen a lot of it before, and done better. It’s not terrible, and there’s some good ideas, but there’s perhaps too many of them, and they never properly cohere into a strong narrative, or the sheer multitude of them just make the characters walking tropes that splinter off every which way, so they too never become individual personalities that can drive forward the story. A classic case of good ideas, bad execution.