Retreating for two
RELEASED OUT NOW! 2021 | 15 | SVOD
Director Mattson Tomlin
Cast Chloë Grace Moretz, Algee Smith, Raúl Castillo
This comparatively low-key post-apocalypse reminds us that even after a robot uprising which has decimated humanity, it’s not advisable for a bloke to suggest to his girlfriend that she’s being “hormonal”.
The stubborn persistence of petty arguments is one of the main things which makes hot-right-now screenwriter Mattson Tomlin’s directorial debut feel plausibly grounded. To be fair, Sam (Algee Smith) has some justification for his accusation: Georgia (Chloë Grace Moretz) discovered that she was pregnant on the very day household androids turned on their masters. Nine months later, with Georgia fit to pop, that’s making their search for a safe haven especially fraught.
The shadow of The Terminator looms large over proceedings. Early on, there’s rather a lot of the tramping about nondescript woods that you associate with no-budget movies. And the couple’s behaviour – lighting up their tent like a beacon, singing songs in a dangerous no-man’s land, failing to take simple precautions like one person acting as look-out – is at times mindbogglingly incautious.
The production values fall a little short too: an android’s degraded face looks too built-up; CGI drones don’t feel well integrated with the location work.
Ultimately the film redeems itself, however, thanks to an intense performance by Raúl Castillo as an AI programmer who supplies the know-how to sneak past the killer bots, and a twisty finale which delivers a winding one-two of gut-punches.
Moretz’s silicone belly weighed 9.5kg. For added realism she also wore a corset, so she couldn’t run too easily.
There’s a twisty finale which delivers a winding one-two of gutpunches