Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer
Plot: In the not-too-distant-future a global storm negatively affects the omniscient technology on Earth resulting in consequences for various people.
Review: After a retrospective of Bruce Willis Sci Fi/Thriller films last week I thought it would be good to check out a more recent Sci Fi flick. And while browsing through HBO MAX I came across Sci Fi Thriller Warning. Directed and co-written by Agata Alexander, the film seeks to tell a (mildly) interconnected story about technology and the impact on human contact. But be forewarned (my one and only warning pun, I promise), the execution leaves much to be desired.
How do I describe Warning? Imagine if you took the linked stories of saccharine romcoms like Valentine’s Day and Happy New Year but instead of romance the tales were about the ills of technology like Black Mirror, though not as cleverly written. That’s pretty much this movie. You have a pretty decent cast in a bunch of vignettes, including Thomas Jane (The Punisher, The Expanse) as a stranded astronaut and Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) as a woman having technical difficulties with her “God” AI interface. There’s also an android dealer dealing with a wonky android, an immortal man dating a mortal woman, a troubled man addicted to the virtual reality memories of his ex, and a teenager who allows a man to “wear” her body. There are some interesting ideas sprinkled throughout and a few of the vignettes could have worked as features on their own. But all feel undercooked, the themes barely explored, they include more than a few head-scratching plotholes and characters are so underdeveloped it is difficult to care about any of them.
The experience of watching the film is also a jarring one as you jump from one story to another (and sometimes back again) with little care and barely a through line. Now ostensibly the global storm is the connecting thread along with a couple of other loose strands like a pyramid shape. But the connection is quite tenuous with passing references and no sense of time nor structure. The effect is like channel surfing through five or six different movies or TV episodes. And they try to pull everything together in the final act but it feels super contrived. Then the ending is such a hard left tonal shift viewers would be left with whiplash.
I understand what they were going for with this film and the efforts to speak on the subjects of religion, class, identity, and loss. But it is hard to hear what they are saying over the noise of the clumsy storytelling and overstuffed plot. There is a good movie (or rather movies) within the muddled mess that is Warning. But even with the relatively short runtime of 85 minutes it feels like a chore to unearth it (or them). And there is much better Sci Fi fare that is worth spending your time on.
Editor Jules’s Score: 3.5 out of 10
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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.