Monday, January 4, 2021

3022: Worthy Entry in a Bleak Genre


For some reason, 3022 is the second movie I've seen in as many weeks about astronauts stranded in deep space, unable to return to an unexpected dead or dying Earth. The Midnight Sky was the first, and both reprise Arch Oboler's (great name) masterful Night of the Auk from the 1950s.   I loved Oboler's play, but I'm generally not a fan of these apocalypse astronaut scenarios.   But like The Midnight Sky, 3022 gave me some reasons to like it.

First and foremost, Omar Epp's performance as John Laine, captain of one of the crews out there in the solar system, was really excellent.  So was Kate Walsh as Jackie Miller, engineer and in a romantic relationship with Laine.  Believability, dependent on actors providing the requisite range of human emotions, is essential in these kinds of life-and-death stories in outer space, and Epps and Walsh are up to the task.

Now one of the reasons I generally don't care for these end-of-the-world astronaut stories is that scant or no reason is given for why the Earth is kaput.  The Midnight Sky didn't, and neither did 3022Night of the Auk, by the way, did -- nuclear war.

So with the action on Earth a fait accomplis, we're left with the people in space in 3022 to tell us a captivating story.   The usual narrative, which we've seen many times, are the long-term effects life in space has on the body and mind, and even the soul.  We get a good rendition of this in 3022, with happy astronauts evolving towards falling to pieces.

I won't tell you the very end, which we get in the very last minute.  But I will recommend 3022 as a worthy entry in a bleak genre.   Good writing by Ryan Binaco, good directing by John Suits, as well as the fine acting.

first starship to Alpha Centauri ... and they only had enough fuel to get there

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