12 – 91mins – 2015
TANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Peddled heavily on the basis that it is produced by Robert The Walking Dead Kirkman and features one of the hit zombie-dodging series’ most charismatic stars in Norman “Daryl” Reedus, sadly this sombre dystopian sci-fi bore-fest from debut director Christian Cantamessa has little else going for it.
It is not to its benefit that the set-up is so lifeless, with Reedus and his two-time Oscar nominated co-star Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, In America) spending 95% of the film as the only characters. They play Bauer and Cartwright, engineers-cum-caretakers to the chosen few scientists and saviours of the human race; kept in cryogenic sleeping tanks until the Earth’s air has returned to a breathable level of non-toxicity, following chemical war.
With a limited cast and gloomy Alien-esque corridors and crawlspaces forming the claustrophobic underground bunker sets, I can only presume the filmmakers were channelling Duncan Jones’ Moon and aiming to achieve a tense and captivating slow-burn thriller full of deep human philosophising as two everymen are pushed to their limits and forced to question everything they have come to accept.
Noble intentions, certainly, but rather than introspective and insightful, Air just sends you into suspended animation, with Bauer and Cartwright’s straight n’ skittish double act soon fraying into barking and biting threats. Meanwhile, a perfect opportunity for an element of mystery is bumbled and thwarted with Sandrine Holt’s sudden appearances as Abby all too obviously a memory-made-flesh by Cartright’s solitude.