2050 is a film with a message. Unfortunately by the end of its one hour and forty-six minute runtime, the viewer will probably still be unclear as to what that message is.
This film tells the story of Michael Greene (David Vaughn), a man unhappy in his marriage. It just so happens that his brother-in-law Drew has got himself a sex bot. Oh, sorry, an “E-Mate”. Initially repulsed by the idea, Michael eventually gives in to curiosity and ventures into the dark, speakeasy-esque bordello to find out more. One conversation with suave salesman Maxwell (Dean Cain) later and he is the proud owner of his own perfectly customised female companion. Is this cheating? Is she really just an expensive toy? Can you fall in love with a machine that’s just pretending to be human? Is this actually a cunning eugenics program in disguise so the folks attracted to robots won’t ever have kids?
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None of these questions will be answered. Many questions are asked, but there’s precious little clarity or attempt made to resolve, well, anything. There’s a lot of talking. A LOT of talking. There’s musings over relationships and morality and unfortunately a lot of it comes across as judgemental and preachy. Despite all the talking, it never feels like the audience gets to bond with these characters, they’re far too busy being annoying and unlikeable. Michael lies to his wife, Drew is a loser obsessed with the girl who dumped him for an E-Mate, Drew’s sister is nagging and overbearing and Michael’s wife is just kinda there. She tries to emote later on in the film but it falls flat.
Dean Cain is entertaining, he looks like he’s trying to have fun with it, but even his performance suffers from the strange direction. There are odd pauses in conversation, scenes that go on just too long, and then there’s the frankly just downright weird scene with him eating an apple that just lingers, and lingers, AND LINGERS far longer than it has any right to. Perhaps it’s meant to imply that Dean Cain isn’t a robot? Who knows.
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This feels more like some cheaply made soap opera, certainly not a film set in 2050. In fact the only real concession to this being THE FUTURE is that there are not-entirely-convincing CGI drones buzzing everywhere in the background like brain-damaged birds. Everyone still uses what appears to be regular smartphones, the buildings and streets are entirely normal, the clothing is contemporary. Nothing says “this is thirty years from now” except the E-Mates, which are little more than people with really cheap looking plastic serial ports stuck to their backs. Laaaaaaaaaaaame.
This is just a bad film. Bad acting, bad script, bad direction, bad moral. Is there a reason to watch it? Uhm… maybe if you’re a big fan of Dean Cain? Other than that, I got nothing.
2050 is available on demand and on DVD on 14th January.