Future World Blu-ray Review
Opening voiceover sets the scene, explaining how technological innovations and breakthroughs in science brought about artificial intelligence and, it seems inevitably, war. Nations crumbled as the planet was scorched.
Cut to the “future” and a squad of motorcycles ripping across the desert wasteland. The raiders, led by The Warlord (James Franco, THE DISASTER ARTIST), have come for any supplies they can steal, chiefly an android named Ash (Suki Waterhouse, ASSASSINATION NATION), who he can control through commands. Meanwhile, in a more civilized area called the Oasis, a young man called The Prince (Jeffrey Wahlberg, DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON), sets out to find medicine for his dying mother, the Queen (Lucy Liu, in her first live-action movie since 2012’s THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS), which could be located with a woman called The Druglord (Milla Jovovich, SHOCK AND AWE) in a place called Paradise Beach. (This movie is cluttered with all sorts of places that sound either like strip clubs or Mario Kart courses–Neon Forest, North Star, Love Town…)
FUTURE WORLD at times calls to mind a sort of half-brained mix between THE WIZARD OF OZ and MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, but only in the smallest, most transparent of ways. Comparison-wise, there is a mish-mash of freaks teaming up in a land mostly foreign while being pursued by other freaks, but certainly The Tin Man is a more complex character than Big Daddy Love Lord (played by Snoop Dogg, perhaps naturally) and the costumes of FURY ROAD weren’t salvaged from a dumpster fire. (Franco seems to be having the most fun here, sporting nasty teeth and shouting things like, “You better start singing, little bird!” as he tortures a traveler. Maybe he’s just glad to be taking a break from Faulkner adaptations?)
FUTURE WORLD is directed by both Franco and Bruce Thierry Chung, who previously directed Franco in 2017’s DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON and 2012’s THE COLOR OF TIME. Pairing up behind the camera (the screenplay was written by Chung and Jay Davis), Franco and Chung can’t muster up any originality or any worthwhile action pieces. The extent of what a post-apocalyptic wasteland is doesn’t go much further than flat deserts and dirty criminals revving motorcycle engines and hooting and hollering in the dust. The writers couldn’t even be bothered to come up with names–are they taking a cue from WATERWORLD here? Is that one of the bars set?
As the movie never expands on its subgenre or plays on its types, tropes and themes, FUTURE WORLD proves as empty as its own landscapes. It is a hollow and brainless effort, one that falls short in about every aspect. FUTURE WORLD has nothing to say and so little to show for it.
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. The overall image is strong, although the limited color palette doesn’t do much for the presentation.
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Subtitles in English and Spanish. Dialogue is clean throughout, but it’s the sound effects and music cues that will be the draw.
Behind the Scenes (12:39): This clip-heavy featurette provides a light overview of the movie.