Title – Air (2015)
Director – Christian Cantamessa (feature debut)
Cast – Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt
Plot – Set in the not too distant future where air has become a non-breathable entity, engineer/maintenance men Cartwright (Hounsou) and Bauer (Reedus) must survive the harsh, isolated surrounds of their underground bunker where they awake for short periods of time in between months of rest to carry out important facility work and studies.
“It’s not murder, its survival”
Review by Eddie on 4/04/2016
The first feature length sojourn of Skybound, the group behind the universally successful Walking Dead comics, TV show and all subsequent run-offs, Air (featuring TWD’s very own Norman Reedus) is an at first engaging and tense low budget Sci-fi that sadly descends down a rabbit hole of increasingly uninteresting and questionable scenarios.
First time director Christian Cantamessa (the man who wrote the fantastic video game Red Dead Redemption) certainly hasn’t given himself an easy first feature to win out on with Air’s plot almost exclusively focusing on the maintenance workers of Djimon Hounsou’s Cartwright and Reedus’s Bauer, who like his Daryl in TWD is still in need of a long overdue haircut.
Like any film that sets itself around a confined space and a confined cast, say like a Moon or Buried, Air has to fight to keep viewers’ attention almost entirely through things not seen and engaging acting and while Hounsou and Reedus share some form of chemistry, it’s not enough to carry the film potentially ripe idea to levels that could’ve made Air a must see Sci-Fi yarn.
The central idea that Air bases itself around of our air supply being tarnished by a range of natural and man-made causes with humankinds last hope a group of Noah’s Ark like underground facilities with pods of long term sleeping humans is an interesting one and whilst familiar in many senses does seem somewhat fresh but Cantamessa and his co-writer Chris Pasetto can’t wring enough out of their limited budget supply on top notch dialogue to take the idea to fresh places.
Small moments and a quality opening half make Air something more than a non-event but this is certainly a forgettable start of Skybound’s foray into Hollywood movies. Cantamessa seems like a young filmmaker with some talent and it’d be great to see him go on with his efforts here while Reedus is lucky he has Daryl to fall back on and poor old Hounsou is still chasing a role of the same quality he found in Blood Diamond and In America.
2 ½ long past due haircuts out of 5