The Lost Future

| October 4, 2011

I was very excited to see the SyFy original film The Lost Future because I absolutely love any film that predicts a future dystopia. It’s one of my many guilty pleasures. I learned of the plot before viewing the film and the preposterousness of it made me even giddier. Unfortunately, the best thing about The Lost Future is Sean Bean, and he alone cannot sustain interest in this story or its characters.
In a post-apocalyptic future only a handful of humans have survived a genetically mutating disease. A tribe who believe themselves to be the last humans left on earth are attacked by their mutant counterparts and conceal themselves in caves to try to stay alive. Meanwhile, three of the tribe, Savan (Corey Sevier), Kaleb (Sam Claflin) and Dorel (Annabelle Wallis), escape the attack and meet Amal (Sean Bean), a stranger who claims to have known Kaleb’s father who left the tribe years earlier to find other civilizations. Amal tells Kaleb that his father was detrimental in discovering a cure for the mutating disease and asks Kaleb to accompany him and help him track down the cure. The group of four set off in search of any remaining civilizations and the “yellow powder” that will protect them and their tribe from mutation.
The main issue with this film is that there’s nothing really original here in this SyFy Original Movie. The “mutants” are a combination of zombies, Orcs, Reavers; while somewhat frightening, we’ve seen them before. The themes are tired and one-dimensional: too much interest in science brought on the genetic apocalypse; the leader of the tribe governs with blind faith. Then, of course, there’s the ONE son, who never really knew his father, and is society’s only hope for survival.
Ridiculous dialogue permeates the entire film, mostly in an attempt to make sure the viewer is following along and understanding everything. The problem is there’s nothing really complex about the story to warrant this. The mystery of what happened to humans on earth is lacking reliable and definitive scientific explanation. The “yellow powder” remains just that – yellow powder. The mutants are merely science gone awry.
Despite all of this, Sean Bean is relatively good, given what he’s working with. There are a few scenes with spectacular digital effects and cinematography, including the hunt in the opening scene and the boat ride to the nearest civilization. While I can sometimes get behind illogical plot lines and outrageous science fiction, I was unable to get on board with this film. I was captivated by one of the early scenes, when we learn the tribe believes they are the last humans on earth (how spooky is that?), but there seemed to be very little research on how a civilization might rebuild itself when forced to live like our ancient ancestors. Would a tribe familiar with methods of hunting, tracking and organizing a small village really not understand how a boat floats on water? Would women not be able to take up their former gatherer roles and just be left in the village wearing full makeup and slinky outfits? I really, really hope not.

About the Author:

Kylah Magee received an MA in film studies from Chapman University and a music degree from Texas State. She has worked with the LA Film Festival and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. She owns and operates Nine Muses Studio where she teaches private voice lessons in Austin, TX.
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