Monday, 1 May 2023

Last Sentinel (2023)

We're about 40 years into the future here and global warming has raised the level of the earth's water to such an extent that there's only two bits of land left - and the two 'countries' are at war. Inevitably! The setting for this film is a rig in the middle of the two, which is occupied and maintained by 4 military personnel on rotation, two years at a time.

We join the action as the 'monthly' storm is due, facilitating a potential haul of fish in their nets as they wait for their relief crew, now 3 months late and no word. There's very limited communication with the outside world (on some strangely outdated-looking equipment for the future) and the whole film is set onboard the knackered, old rig and a couple of vessels around it. The storm is raging and we get to see a few minutes of special effects as the huge waves head for the rig.

They seem to be in charge of some nuclear-bomb-looking device, which two of them have keys to activate, should the need arise. It's not really very clear what this is, what it's for or what they intend to do with it - and under what circumstances. There is a suggestion that this simply destroys what's left of the earth if detonated and so both sides in the war want it for themselves, presumably as a deterrent. Anyway, the crew have a procedure to follow under certain conditions and to detonate it. It seems that one of those conditions is simply not being able to communicate by radio with each other whilst investigating a boat floating past one day!

It's very slow, we get to know the four players (or at least we think we do) and as the film moves along it is indeed clear that all is not as it seems. People have hidden agendas, maybe not quite what the seem to be and there are twists and turns which come along to keep the audience on their toes. Or at least, not falling asleep! Director Tanel Toom (Truth and Justice) keeps thing chugging along (a bit faster might be better, at the expense of getting the audience feeling the isolation and boredom that the crew might feel) and does a decent enough job pulling together some good cinematography and the best he can from the actors.

Kate Bosworth (Barbarian, Superman Returns, Still Alice) plays the lead as Corporal Cassidy working under the command of Thomas Kretschmann (A Taxi Driver, Stalingrad, Valkyrie, U-571, The Pianist) as Sergeant Hendrichs. They are supposed to be in charge but as we will see, splinters (leading to some inconsistencies) do appear in the structure of that. The other two crew members are Privates. Lucien Laviscount (Coronation Street, Trollied) as Sullivan (who is having a fling with Cassidy on the quiet) and Martin McCann (The Survivalist, 71) as Baines. As I said, the acting is of a good standard, but it fails to lift this film much above the feeling of a B-Movie to be honest.

The purpose/message of the film I guess is a warning about climate change and what the world might end up being if we don't pull our socks up, but it's all pretty lame and shallow, slow-moving and fairly forgettable. Maybe they should have done what Amazon Studios did with The Rig and turned it into more of a TV series. Don't get me wrong - it's worth the watch, but it just ain't gripping as a storyline and the material everyone has to work with doesn't raise it above the routine. Focus on the acting, directing and visuals.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Infernal Machine (2022)

This mystery thriller has been created by relative newbie director/writer Andrew Hunt which takes the  viewer on a roundabout trip in the co...