Wes Keller is a young man living in a world where oil has collapsed, the food supply has been wiped out, and cancer rates for women have skyrocketed, depleting the female population. In a barbaric environment where bio fuel, batteries, bullets and people are currency and marauders roam free, Wes tries to escape to a mythical world run on cold fusion “Plutopia”, a place that may only exist in the mind. THE BILL IS DUE. ‘Downstream’ is a view of the not so distant future. We follow a young man (everyone’s son) as he pays the price for society’s decadence.
Written and produced by Philip Y. Kim
Directed by Simone Bartesaghi
Starring: Jonathan Trent, Elizabeth Roberts, Jonno Roberts
Best line: “I said don’t touch my dog.”
“..and the complacency of fools will destroy them…” Proverbs 1:32
It’s always a good idea to start your movie with a line from the Bible. If you’re going with really angry angels, or anything involving redemption, you go New Testament. If you’re going with Wrath of God type stuff or anything post-apocalyptic, you want to go Old Testament. I believe this is a really good quote for our times. I believe the complacency of foolish politicians will be the end of the world as we know it, but I suppose that this isn’t the forum for such talk. Needless to say though when this movie started off with that quote I was captured. For the most part it devolved from there.
Downstream is somewhere between the amazing video game Borderlands and the Mel Gibson classic The Road Warrior, but not quite as good as either. From the Road Warrior, the list of recycled ideas is as follows: They stole the lone wanderer, and his dog, looking for Petrol (or “juice”, as it’s called in the movie); they stole the football / hockey pads being used as armor (or is that a soccer shin pad imbued with plastic spikes on his forearm?). They stole the sound of Mel Gibson’s car. They also stole the “everyone dies” ending. From Borderlands, which also stole from the Road Warrior in the way of setting, they stole the random communities of bad people.
That being said, I have to admit there are some interesting film elements. I liked the comic book style framing that was sometimes used to show the action. The pacing was really brisk for the first half of the movie, but it started to drag towards the end. The acting performances weren’t bad by any means. The rockstar performance however was that of Jonno Roberts. He was AMAZING.
The story was incredibly predictable which was disappointing. I’ve already seen The Road Warrior, and I’ve played Borderlands, so I knew what was going to happen next. I’ve also seen the one about the hero who goes to rescue the girl, and of course, how he has the opportunity to kill his nemesis half way through the film and doesn’t. Does this come back to haunt him later in the story? Well of course it does. It results in the needless deaths of an entire village in fact. Stupid hero. Oh andhe kills and eats his dog. Mel Gibson wouldn’t have done that.
This film isn’t anything you haven’t seen before. You’ve just seen it better. Other than a few interesting film shots and Jonno Roberts’ awesome performance there’s not much to see here. Go get a copy of The Road Warrior and enjoy post-apocolyptica as it’s meant to be enjoyed. Veer clear of Beyond Thunderdome though. If you want to go there, dumb yourself down a bit and watch Downstream.