Movie Review: LX 204818th February 2021
While some apocalyptic films will play with the fears of isolation and homebound heroes in happenstance collusion of real-world events, there will, inevitably, be those that look to capitalise on events that shift the paradigm of life. The greatest compliment one can give LX 2048 is that it is mere coincidence that the theme of its narrative is that of locking down society for fear of the outside. With the sun burning brighter than it should, the remaining inhabitants of Earth shelter themselves inside to protect from a light source so powerful it disintegrates and destroys those caught in its gaze. A thoroughly interesting scenario, and one with more than a handful of competent performers. Where did it all go so wrong?
There are smatterings of too many genres. Guy Moshe’s directing efforts try and capture the incessant fears of Beyond the Black Rainbow with the muted, forced discipline of classic futuristic dystopias. Think Brazil but without the mania, 1984 but with VR headsets instead of whitewashing the public records. Whatever the case, seeing James D’Arcy yelling in a room, alone, with a VR headset on, is the first sign of insanity. Had the script been better, then something could have come from these early scenes. LX 2048, surprisingly, manages to muse on the rat race, which still clings to life even in times of apocalyptic reckoning. Moshe and D’Arcy handle this theme well, and with some appearances from Gina McKee and Delroy Lindo, it is hard not to engage with the certain performances. Then again, they are swiftly shuffled off of the screen, for fear of paying them another hour to experiment with another take.
Budget is an issue, and as optimistic and innovative as LX 2048 tries to be, its financial restraints mean it has no avenue to pursue but the glossy lens flares and vague tropes of science fiction that have dominated the genre for so long. Moshe plays up the stereotypes without glee, he is turgid and dissatisfied at having to rely on these. Surely, he must wish for more than this? Yes, indeed. Because at times throughout this narrative the cracks of mania begin to show. The sleek design has taken its toll on a man with a vision which was, hopefully, far from the slick and tested formula devoted to here. A futuristic, metallic showcase in mind, there is either a fear of creativity or a lack of it entirely.
For the hardcore science-fiction crowd out there, LX 2048 will offer a fine palate cleanser. It will remove the tastes of high-class, odd dystopias, and it will purge the lingering scent of low-brow shlock. It is the middle ground no director or cast member wants to find themselves in, but it is the sad inevitability for D’Arcy and company. A dying man finds himself struggling to grapple with meaning in the dying days of Earth, a process that has been shown before, better and with more interest than the slapdash writing and forced weight of this blurring of weak performance and worse screenplay technique.