So here I am, once again, feeling like Charlie Brown facing Lucy with the football after I give in and give cinematic science fiction a shot. 2067 is, alas, almost exactly what you’d expect from a visual FX artist turned writer-director: it looks great, and on a much smaller budget than Hollywood has trained us to expect, but there’s no there there. I don’t know how I had convinced myself there might be something more, and I hate myself once again for being open to new and hopefully mindblowing geek experiences, and getting shafted as a result.
This second feature from Australian filmmaker Seth Larney is, generously, a 15-minute short padded out to an unforgivable, patience-trying two hours, there’s so little in the way of fresh or intriguing ideas or engaging characters here. And when I say there are no ideas here, I mean that there are barely even any repurposed from all the many other time-travel stories we’ve seen before. Not only is there nary a single temporal paradox or loop-de-loop deployed in 2067 that is the least bit unexpected, never mind provocative, but there’s not even enough of them to keep this dull movie ticking over on an at-least-it’s-cheesy-fun level. Kudos to 2067 for making time travel boring.
Here’s something a little bit unexpected, though. We all “know,” from similar such movies, that men are supposedly utterly unmotivated by noble goals, like *checks notes* saving all of humanity. There’s gotta be a dead mom or somesuch to supply him with the necessary inspiring Feels. Yet here, Kodi Smit-McPhee’s (X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Alpha) future grunt — he fixes nuclear reactors — requires not only a dead mom but also a dead dad and a sick wife to kick him in the ass to accept an invitation from scientists to time-travel from the postapocalyptic year of 2067 to The Future in an attempt to find a cure for what ails Earth. The only thing stopping this movie from positing a dog that must be saved as well is its conceit that pretty much all of nature, including all animals and all plants, is now extinct.
All humankind is threatened in this dystopia, what with everyone living on “synthetic oxygen,” and too many people succumbing to a “Sickness” as a result of that, and still our dubious hero spends most of the interminable runtime here moaning about familial abandonment. In the hands of a more capable storyteller, that could work a metaphor for humanity abandoning itself. 2067 fails at that, and it’s all it might have had working for it.