24th Jan2019

‘IO’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston, Tom Payne, Emma Fitzgerald, Justin Jamieson | Written by Clay Jeter, Charles Spano, Will Basanta | Directed by Jonathan Helpert


Sam (Margaret Qualley), one of the last survivors on a post-cataclysmic Earth, is a young scientist dedicated to finding a way for humans to adapt and survive, rather than abandon their world. But with the final shuttle scheduled to leave the planet for a distant colony, her determination to stay is rocked by the arrival of another survivor, Micah (Anthony Mackie). She must decide whether to journey with him to join the rest of humanity and begin life anew, or stay to fight for Earth’s survival.

IO, directed by Jonathan Helpert, is the latest Netflix terror to hit the small screen. A terror not because it’s contextually frightening or gripping but mainly due to the fact that it is simply downright horrifying to sit through and quite frankly unwatchable.

The level of tedious narrative on offer here is fundamentally barbaric. Much like Netflix’s previous exploits in the absurdly boring and abrupt How It Ends, IO follows a similar appalling path of approaching and a developing a film that never comes to fruition. All well and good if the film we are left with is either entertaining or enjoyable, of which this is undeniably neither. The narrative for starters on show here is glib and dull. Elongated and expanded to an insanely temperamental stretch and still only hitting a respectful ninety-four-minute running time. Filled with regurgitated and stoic emotionally mumbled sequences that seem to clock over significant running time with little to zero depth showcased.

Jonathan Helpert’s film is made all the more dire with what may be one of the strangest and most unbelievable romances between Margaret Qualley and Anthony Mackie that I’ve had the utmost displeasure of seeing develop on screen. This in particular highly abrupt and forceful character arc is only one of many that reinforce the utter travesty that develops on screen. Only to be topped off with a desperate and abrupt third act approaching with zero plausibility or an inch of remotely interesting moments in its finale.

A lacking engaging shape leads to a dumbfounding climax that doesn’t even offer a sigh of relief when it is over with the wasted time of your life just fleeting by with an astounding regret.

IO is available to watch on Netflix now.


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