July 22, 2024

LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND (2023) – A disastrous disaster movie

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Rating: ⭐1/2

On paper this looks like a must watch. It has a stellar cast and an intriguing premise of a world catastrophe resulting from cyberattacks. That sounds like a refreshing change from the usual apocalypse disaster movies which are usually based on climate changes, nuclear war or a zombies epidemic. But alas, as with so many high-profile Netflix originals this one is a letdown.

Perhaps I went in with too much of a pre-established expectations of what a world disaster movie should have. The film makers chose to focus on one family who happened to be away from the city when the disaster struck and slowly began to realised the extent of the gravity of the situation they are faced with. Julie Roberts and Ethan Hawke plays the couple with a daughter and son. I thought they lacked chemistry and comes across as a dull and boring family. They rent an incredibly luxurious home for their getaway. At this stage the beauty of the house stole the limelight of the show. Anyway, our family is soon rudely interrupted in the middle of their first evening by the suspicious appearance of the house’s owner and daughter seeking refuge.

We are given some hints that things are not normal with vital services like the internet, telephones and TV broadcast being down, and strange behavior from the animals living in the forest surrounding the house. Do not expect any big scale disaster spectacles as most of these take place off screen. Instead, we are treated with endless mindless conversations and behavior between the characters seem out of place given the situation they are in. To make things more annoying some characters appear to be deliberately holding back on what they know from the others for unconvincing reasons. Julie Roberts fans who love to watch her jabbling away nonstop would probably enjoy this better than others. Not me, I prefer to have my disaster movies served straight forward without all the out of place social commentaries. Kevin Bacon who makes a cameo appearance at least made me sit up for awhile but alas, he was wasted in the movie given the little and mindless role he had.

Netflix originals with big stars and renowned film makers continue to disappoint so much so that I am beginning to associate the term to disappointment. For now, my advise is to leave this one behind from your list of Netflix movies to watch.

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