Apocalypse Road is Well Traveled With Common Themes
Apocalypse Road Films Details
Director: Brett Bentman
Writer: Brett Bentman
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Release Format: VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 1h 28min
Apocalypse Road follows the journey of two sisters while separated during a post apocalyptic depression.
Filmmaker Brett Bentman had the correct approach to his apocalyptic themed thriller, Apocalypse Road. Yet, the evolution of this concept from script to film somehow lost cohesive approach. Epic storytelling, in particular, films that have strong female protagonists are a personal favorite. Apocalyptic themed films are also a major draw for me as a filmgoer. Whether it is the supplementary imagery involving zombies, a viral epidemic or nuclear holocaust there is something compelling in exploring the “what if” scenario.
After examining the trailer and reading the synopsis, there was a grade of expectation before watching Apocalypse Road. After watching the film for the third time I couldn’t swing that “what the hell developed here?” feeling.
Apocalypse Road is not a dreadful film. Yet, this production doesn’t qualify as remarkable. Overall, Brentman’s latest film seems insufficient in development areas.
The performances exhibited in Apocalypse Road had lenient emotion and communication value. In my point of view, the cast of characters had single-serving personas. To put it eloquently, each role was disposed of without sentimental attachment. None of these performances had defining qualities. The problem here begins with the character structure. This remains true for the heroine and its a shame considering how I appreciate powerful female leads.
In Apocalypse Road, the protagonist fails to undergo a metamorphosis throughout the film. This building block I find to be crucial for human-driven narratives. By ACT III, audiences will find this observation to be fact. Lines become memorized and recited for the sake of delivery. Where were the expressions bound with powerful emotional content? On that note where did the hoard of infected persons go?
To conclude, the acts seen in Apocalypse Road become impaired with a lack of seriousness. Each persona felt ripped out of a comic book for all the erroneous reasons. For example, the threat level emitted by a trio of scavengers never surpassed critical factor. The eyeliner-wearing thug, along with his plastic-masked friend and their jolly bearded leader offered standard villainy. For the principal antagonist, audiences will find a typical mysterious male bravado archetype.
The action felt repetitive so much so that I sensed I was observing a rework from other post-apocalyptic films. The typical road traveled in these films are as follows;
1. Character A transverses a barren expanse in search of a lost loved one, a means of escape or both.
2. In the process, external conflicts pose threats to Character A and his/her/its mission.
It is fair to reverse engineer a universal circulating plot but Apocalypse Road feels too familiar. Much like the character backstories a focus on the narrative also was lacking.
Bentman does an admirable work in communicating atmosphere through inventive control of the camera. This execution makes Apocalypse Road satisfying. In ACT II during an execution, Bentman adopts a medium shot to provide a grasp of intimacy to the cowardly action. In another scene, Bentman implies nudity without establishing a shot of a bare fleshed female form. These are two examples that emphasize the artistic cinematography used in Apocalypse Road.
The story focuses on society’s brutality when survival becomes primordial. This underlying theme develops into a perpetual expression with each act perpetrated by the characters. I appreciated this social commentary; it is both dynamic and commanding.
Apocalypse Road lacks the awe factor of Horror and nerve-racking impression of a Thriller. Yet, the film proves successful in delivering a bleak outlook resulting from mankind’s carelessness. While the characters lacked definition, I found the roles to be entertaining in their own stage. The plot needed more sustenance yet has power in its expression of savagery and dominance.