IMDb Rating: 4.4/10
PG-13 | 1h 24min | Comedy, Thriller | 11 Dec 2020 (UK) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 10% Rotten (Critics), 36% Rotten (Audience)
Director: Adam Mason
Writers: Adam Mason, Simon Boyes
Stars: K.J. Apa, Sofia Carson, Craig Robinson, Demi Moore, Alexandra Daddario
Movie Tagline: “The Only Way Out is Together“
IMDb summary: In 2024, a pandemic ravages the world and its cities. Centering on a handful of people as they navigate the obstacles currently hindering society: disease, martial law, quarantine, and vigilantes.
we are not spoiler-free
While we’re not getting inundated with movies about a pandemic sweeping across the globe, it still feels a little soon to be sitting through a movie about one. Still, it’s good to know that we’re not quite at the point of sending our infected citizens to a “Q” quarantine zone and treated as sub-human.
It’s still not entirely clear why this movie has been categorised as a comedy as there is absolutely nothing funny about a pandemic. And the principal characters played by K.J. Apa and Sofia Carson don’t seem to find anything humorous in their stressful and desperate situation. K.J. Apa portrays Nico, a twenty-something ex-paralegal who has become a bike courier that relies on transporting courier packages across the city to make money. His girlfriend, played by Sofia Carson, lives in an apartment block on the other side of town, and they have never met. In 2024 the outlook much like the landscape of the city looks bleak. The pandemic death count is in the millions, and there’s very little hope of getting this variation of the COVID virus under control. So the city is now run by martial law which is dished out by the city sanitation team led by a crooked and vile man played by Peter Stormare.
What this movie lacks in substance comes entirely down to the writing. The acting is solid with notable performances by Peter Stormare and Demi Moore. One particularly entertaining scene plays out when technically savvy ex-soldier Dozer controls a drone that he uses to scout across the city and neutralize someone posing a threat to his online e-friend played by Alexandra Daddario. The concept of the Ultra Violet light sanitisation unit is also intriguing. And while K.J. Apa seems to embody the spirit of the heroic figure in this story relatively well, the idea of a bike courier travelling across a pandemic-stricken city to save someone he’s never actually met seems a little cliched. It’s not horrible and definitely doesn’t deserve a “0” rating, but its flaws are obvious.
Could it also be plausible that audiences just don’t want to be reminded of the difficult every-day struggles we’re facing as this global pandemic continues to grip many countries in an iron fist? It’s not the type of escapism that “doomscrollers” will be looking for on any level and we can relate.