Stars: Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt | Written by Christian Cantamessa, Chris Pasetto | Directed by Christian Cantamessa
Norman Reedus, star of TV’s The Walking Dead, teams with Robert Kirkman, writer and creator of The Walking Dead (who takes a producer role here) for a new sci-fi thriller, Air. Which tells the story of two engineers tasked with guarding the last hope for mankind, all the while struggling to preserve their own sanity and their lives…
In the near future, breathable air is nonexistent. Virtually all of humanity has disappeared and those chosen to reestablish society reside in a controlled state of suspended animation. The two men tasked with maintaining the stauts quo of the suspended animation chambers, Bauer and Cartwright, are awoken every six months to check on the systems and their “cargo” before going back to sleep. However Cartwright’s sleep chamber is damaged by an electrical fault and when it’s time to go back to sleep neither man can until they’ve found a way to fix the chamber.
So what we have here in Air, is essentially a two-man character study; with Reedus and Hounsou carrying not only the films story but also the viewers interest, even when there is little for them to do other than talk to each other. There is some interest generated by Djimon Hounsou’s fragile psyche (his character talks to his wife, played by Sandrine Holt, who may or may not already be dead) and there’s the ticking clock that is a lack of oxygen but for the most part this is a psychological tale of two men left alone at the end of the world and all that that entails, such as – unsurprisingly – fragile minds, mistrust, selfishness and sheer insanity.
Seemingly shot during the downtime on The Walking Dead (Reedus literally looks like he’s stepped off that set into this), Air is a small, stifling and claustrophic look at humanity and just how fragile man actually is – showing that even with all the technology surrounding us, all the science at our beck and call, we are still beholden to nature; and that man is his own worst enemy.
If you’re not sick and tired of the post-apocalyptic genre and the spate of end-of-the-world stories Hollywood have already thrown at us then you may very well enjoy Air. For everyone else there’s Norman Reedus (his fans will lap this up whatever anyone says).
Air is released on DVD tomorrow, January 18th.