Whenever I turn on Netflix and see that there’s a new original film waiting for me, I’m never sure whether to be excited or not as these Netflix originals seem to be very hit and miss… But after watching the trailer for IO: Last on Earth, I was convinced that this film would be for me.
IO is a story about a young scientist called Sam (Margaret Qualley) who has decided to stay on Earth after the rest of the population has fled due to rising pollution levels poisoning the atmosphere and making Earth inhabitable. Her father, Henry (Danny Huston), believes that life could thrive again on Earth so Sam begins experiments to prove that theory to be true… That is until another survivor, Micah (Anthony Mackie), stumbles across her and tries to convince her to board the last shuttle off Earth to join the distant colony in space known as ‘IO’.
So with an interesting sounding plot and a decent cast, I was ready to see where this story took me… Unfortunately the answer to that was nowhere. Within the first twenty minutes or so it already feels like things are being dragged out a bit, and this is a common theme throughout the film and where things fall apart. The pacing is way too slow and the story just doesn’t move along quick enough to be able to hold my interest. Maybe the film directors were trying to create the feeling of being alone with nothing to do in this post-apocalyptic world, but that doesn’t exactly make for exciting viewing. There were plenty of times I just wanted to give up and turn it off, only I stuck with it because I couldn’t help but feel that something exciting was about to happen and this film would finally kick into gear… Sadly I was wrong. Even when some of the plot points began to come together, it had taken so long to get there that I didn’t really care any more, and most of it had become easy to predict anyway. Without giving too much away I feel like there were a lot of places they could have gone with this, but for whatever reason they just didn’t, and I was left feeling like I had wasted an hour and a half of my life.
The thing is I wouldn’t say this is an outright terrible film as Anthony Mackie unsurprisingly does a good job, and Margaret Qualley is a fine actress, just maybe lacking that extra bit of charisma that is needed to be the star of the film. Even the dialogue isn’t really all that bad, and a lot of the film is shot well… But unfortunately all this is not enough to save this snore-fest. It is also worth pointing out that this film was clearly made on a shoe-string budget and maybe that could answer why it felt so empty and dull… Though I feel like they could have still done a lot more to make this enjoyable without having to splash the cash.
By the time the credits rolled I felt empty and bored, but also a little sad. A little sad because there was definitely potential for a really fun sci-fi movie here, but instead we were given a long, drawn-out and predictable post-apocalyptic story that didn’t really need to be told. Even with the star power of Anthony Mackie, this film could not be saved; all in all this just felt like a missed opportunity, and a massive waste of time, so if you’re a fan of sci-fi and you’re looking for something new and exciting, I would suggest keeping far far away from this one.
I give IO: Last on Earth a: