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Genre: Apocalyptic Sci-Fi War Docu-drama (USA, Australia, UK)
Starring: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale
Directed By: Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard; L.A. Story)
Overview: One of the most realistic tellings of a Nuclear Apocalypse, we see what could have happened should Russia and The United States actually had come to a full confrontation during the Cold War in the mid-eighties, and the aftermath of such a military action.
The acting in this film is the kind where we see real people acting real. It has that documentary feel about it that makes you realize these people aren't doing this for the sake of Oscars or for dramatic moments in their roles. It's just plain and regular. They suffer, and those that survive suffer worse. I won't go on to say that the portrayals were perfect or spectacular, because there was a hammy moment or two here and there, but it's definitely top-notch.
The images. How can I talk about this without shuddering at the sights and sounds? With such moments etched in my mind as cataract laden eyes, burn victims, scores of bleak black and white still images, and most notably: glass milk bottles melting in the blast, the corpses of animals burning, humans living in their own filth... It's not the way they shoot the film, it's what they show and what they choose to zoom in on, be it death or medieval justice. Really dramatic, powerful stuff. Minimalism works.
The writing is not good. By that I mean it's not poetry, it's not grand dramatic ideas being slowly drawn out... It's regular people realizing that they are in such an atrocious predicament as can make one collapse into madness, and sometimes it is madness. The script is real as can be, yet we are given an appropriate hint of the bigger picture (of England at least). Superb.
The story, granted, is one of my favorites: a bleak definition of the inherent stupidity and madness of power that is Humanity. I'm a dark guy. You know this. What really is amazing about this plot is not the whole "this is what's going on, this is the end, this is the surviving bunch". It goes deeper and further and seeks a more scientific approach in its explanation. This is so intelligent as to make you really, really stop and think. I will recommend this to anyone who does not have a weak stomach, because the lesson here is more important than most stories ever written. This is the story of the future of war. This is the story of the Apocalypse, that thing that will set us back 200 to 500 years in time, in progress, in infamy.
Terrifying. I've hear of people fleeing this film, no bullshit. It's not pleasant, but it's important and eye-opening. I found the results of what happens to the societal infrastructure entirely believable. And it is believability that mood is all about right? It's ability to put you there? I was there. I was all too close. Didn't have to be wild and sci-fi for me to be completely immersed...
Overall Rating: 84% (Mind-Blowingly Impressive)
This is not for everyone. If fear, death and bleak futures aren't your bag, you might just want to skip this altogether. If you've seen The Day After, it shows an America that suffers yet endures a nuclear attack. This seems more realistic. Oh, the world survives, but rather this film screams Jesus Christ Almighty in heaven, don't do this, for the love of humanity, disarm! If you see this, you will be made stronger, perhaps even more resolute. This'll probably be on the next 'Hidden Gem' list, if not the next 'Top 5'.