Of all the post-apocalyptic scenarios clogging up the fiction-sphere, the one most frightening to me is the “world without water.” Granted, if there’s a movie about roaches, spiderwebs, and diet soda causing humanity’s demise, that would take the top spot. But until then, a movie like Jake Paltrow’s sophomore feature Young Ones goes a long way in making me feel like my place on Earth is essentially worthless, since I’m doing nothing to further mankind’s safety. Maybe Giant Freakin’ Robot can be food?
In case you were wondering, Jake Paltrow is indeed the younger brother of Oscar-winner Gwyneth, and first directed the enjoyable 2007 comedic drama The Good Night. He directs from his own screenplay for Young Ones, and clearly had quite a time doing some world-building inside of his own head. This is a future where water is scarce enough that people are making deals — perhaps extremely shady deals — to…get water. I never feel that connected to a heist movie because I have no urge to accumulate millions of dollars through nefarious means. But I’d probably do some raunchy shit if I couldn’t get to any cool H2O on a hot-ass day.
In Young Ones, the world revolves around this most precious resource, and Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) seems like the kind of guy who would do anything to protect his family, including son Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee), daughter Mary (Elle Fanning), and wife Katherine (Aimee Mullins), who is hooked up to some kind of an exoskeleton. Yes, this is a world of weird exoskeletons and robotic grunt-working mules. But mostly, it’s kind of a dismal Western, where bullets are substituted with “threats to not give you water.” Just as deadly, just slower.
Ernest is doing everything he can to keep his family quenched, including transporting alcohol and more shotgun-friendly deeds. Enter Flem (Nicholas Hoult), who woos Mary with his motorcycle and less strict survivalist mentality. Is he a threat, or is he just a fellow human being trying to make his life last longer than the average house fly? It’s hard to tell.
While the French trailer seen above does a fair job of laying the story out, the Portuguese trailer below goes deeper into the character stories and what’s at stake for everyone involved. Plus, more robo-mule.
I can’t deny I’m on board with almost everything here. Early reviews have been positive, which is to be expected since Michael Shannon is seemingly incapable of attaching himself to crap. (Man of Steel notwithstanding, though Zod was more interesting than Superman.) This is the kind of movie to bring low expectations to, so that they can be blown to bits.
There’s no U.S. release date set yet, but IMDb has the film set for an October release, so we’ll just walk away hoping that’s the case. Now pardon me, but I think I’m going to get into a swimming pool and never get out.