TL;DR – This is a film that raised a lot of interesting ideas, but never gives the time to provide them with all the justice they need to work within the story.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
LX 2048 Review –
As we move into the future, the digital and real worlds are blending more and more together. Add the fact that it looks like VR finally stuck the landing this time and the future is bright or maybe not. As that line gets fuzzier, what does that mean for human connection? This impasse is the question that the film we are looking at today is asking.
So to set the scene, in the distant future, the world of the digital and the ‘in real’ have blended thanks to a world where the daytime has become toxic thanks to the Sun’s radiation. Indeed even the briefest exposure to the Sun can create instant and painful sunburn. We meet Adam Bird (James D’Arcy), who is getting the news you don’t want to hear, his heart is failing, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Adam is one of the few people who go out in the day to a physical place to work and also kind of like to live in the real world. His desire to be in the real (among other issues) is why he is now separated from his family in his moment of need, because he does not want to die, or worse become a clone.
From a story perspective, we jump from the story in the present around the questions of chips and their dubious nature to flashing back to the past to see how Adam got to the sorry state he is in. The more that is revealed about Adam’s life and the past, the more unlikable he gets as a character and the more you understand why he is very separated from his wife Reena (Anna Brewster). Like, there are good points that he raises, but he is such an insufferable arse about it. I mean given how charismatic James D’Arcy is as an actor, it was interesting to see the range he can go to in this film in the opposite direction.
There are a lot of concepts and ideas being thrown around in this film. We have the impact of environmental degradation and how society adapts to that. How shifting to a digital world would affect how we interact with the real world and our real familiar relationships. How genetic engineering can shift our reality of who we are as a person. We have the impact of cloning on the process of grief, even the move from physical to digital realities of life. Add to all this a potential government/corporate conspiracy and well you have a full roster.
Because the film is covering so much territory, some areas work quite well and others, not so much. Where you see the not so much is in the constant back and forth about Adam medicating, or the lack therefore of. Everyone is always asking if he has had his medication because he is clearly suffering from severe mood swings. However, the film frames this as an indictment on people who take medication as if they are somehow less human for wanting to find equilibrium. There are also these truly awkward moments throughout the film, including what might be the weirdest digital sex scene since Demolition Man. Also, that one musical queue they use through the film became very grating after a while.
In the end, do we recommend LX 2048? Hmmm, honestly, I am not sure. There are a lot of good ideas being explored here, I liked the semi post-apocalyptic/semi digital-utopia setting, and it has some good character moments from James D’Arcy and Delroy Lindo. However, I’m not sure it all came together in the wash, and the ending left me more perplexed than anything else. If you liked LX 2048, I would also recommend to you Altered Carbon.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of LX 2048
Directed by – Guy Moshe
Written by – Guy Moshe
Music by – Sarah DeCourcy, Erez Moshe & Ian Richter
Cinematography by – Thomas Buelens
Edited by – Guy Moshe
Production/Distribution Companies – Quiver Distribution & Chimera Pictures
Starring – James D’Arcy, Gina McKee, Delroy Lindo, Juliet Aubrey, Anna Brewster, Jay Hayden, Linc Hand, Gabrielle Cassi, Logan Findlay, Majus Motiejus Prokopas & Ronin Zaki Moshe
Rating – Around an Australia: MA15;