Source: Author, Netflix
Director: Jonathan Helpert
Writers: Clay Jeter, Charles Spano
Stars: Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston
In a post-apocalyptic time, the earth has been rendered toxic, and most of humanity has abandoned the planet and colonised one of Jupiter's moons, IO. But young scientist Sam Walden has stayed behind and dedicated herself to finding a way for human beings to survive on Earth. After sending out a radio transmission to see if she can locate anyone else, a man named Micah arrives. He believes there is no hope of survival and intends to take the final shuttle to IO in 48 hours.
The narrator Sam Walden is the only survivor we get to see (with the exception of someone who arrives later). She is a young scientist and the daughter of one of the scientists who predicted the end of our planet and perhaps the last scientist on earth trying to find a way to bring back the beauty of the world . Apparently, Sam’s father was the only scientists willing to stay on earth studying our dying world. At the beginning of the film, we are given an explanation of what happened and how it slowly ended for humans on the planet. However, as the film develops we are given very little clues if any other survivors or even if any colony of humans exists on earth.
While the movie shows us Sam’s resilient and capacity to adapt, it also gives us a glimpse into her inability to accept defeat. Sam has proven to be quite capable of surviving on her own, she is extremely resourceful and intelligent yet lacks the capacity to understand that while humans need for survival demands that we eat, drink water, sleep and contanstly provide our body with nourishment, the most basic of all human needs is the need for companionship. Though the film gives us the natural course of life by putting Sam in a long distance relationship and pushing an episode of intimacy between a newcomer and her, her inability to relate, and understand basic human interaction makes her character boring and almost robotic. I tried to like Sam and her story, but I was not able to understand nor accept her need for staying on earth. The creators of this movie seem to have tried to make Sam less robotic, but they failed in their attempt. It is very difficult to understand her motives and the reasons why she stays on earth. It is because she wants to fix it all, or because she simply wants to be on her own?
IO had all the ingredients to be a great flick but sadly it lacked development. I was left wondering and wanting to know more about the IO colony & their plans for exploring other worlds especially one identical to earth. I wanted to learn about the technology behind the biggest exodus in the history of earth yet we were given very little to no information about it. The film lack spark and sadly does not inspire curiosity, if its intention was the change people’s mind about climate change and its consequences, this is sadly a poor attempt. I will suggest you watch IO with an open mind, I am hopeful that one day soon they develop this concept into a better develop story because I think it deserves exploration.
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