IO Doesn’t Earn My XO’s

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Well, I took a couple weeks off and in that time many new things have been released on Netflix, including the Netflix Original futuristic drama-thriller entitled IO. The movie is quite unusual in the fact that for the entire film only five actors/actresses are ever shown in the entire thing, and three of those five only get about 10 seconds of on-screen time. Other than that the entire movie features only Margaret Qualley as the early 20-something-year-old female scientist named Sam and Anthony Mackie (from Marvel movie fame as the actor behind Falcon) as the middle-aged mysterious survivor named Micah.

The film takes place in the near future (I’m guessing 20 or 25 years) and global warming has essentially kicked it up a notch (or a thousand) to the point where almost all of the oxygen in the atmosphere has been replaced with ammonia to make the air toxic.

Global Warming in the film IO.

Everyone has either died or fled Earth as part of a new colony that orbits the Jupiter moon named IO (hence the name of the movie). Every except, of course, Sam and Micah. Oh, and the team that is responsible for handling the last shuttle launch that will ever leave Earth.

The very first bone that I have to pick with this film is that the trailer builds it up to be this epic film about two people who are racing against the clock and numerous impending dangers in order to make it to the final launch, but that’s not at all what the movie is like. In fact, their journey to the launch only comprises like the last 20 minutes of the entire film.

But that is not the only thing that I found to be wrong with the movie. In fact, there was a lot wrong. I will warn you though that there are some minor spoilers (nothing plot ruining) from here on out.

The character relationship between Sam and Micah is irritating because not only does it give them a romantic connection (obviously if only two people are left together and they are the opposite sex then they HAVE to get together, right?) but it also makes their dialogue during their interactions extremely predictable. Not a little predictable, to the point where I knew almost half of everything that they were going to say to each other before they said it. And unfortunately, the rest of the movie doesn’t get any less predictable.

The film tries to infuse some mythology and poetic metaphors into it to give the story some culture and deeper meaning I guess, but it just comes off as surface-level bullshit that is out of place.

What’s even worse is that after you’ve sat through an hour of buildup and they have finally started their journey to the launch site, all of the excitement and danger that you expect to happen never really comes. It’s actually an extremely big let down with an ending that is (once again) predictable and so reminiscent of other apocalyptic movies that it’s ridiculous.

Overall, this movie was not worth the hour and a half that I invested in it and I give the film 2.5 out of 5 dead Earths.

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