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May 6, 2019

IO: Last on Earth (2019) --- "Our Future Is No Longer On Earth"

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
    In a post-apocalyptic world, Earth has been deemed toxic and unhabitual, forcing most of humanity to abandon the planet and colonize on one of Jupiter’s moons, IO. However, following her father’s teaching, young scientist Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley) has chosen to stay behind and dedicate her life to finding a solution for making Earth habitable again for humans. After sending out her daily radio transmission to see there is anyone else left on Earth, a man named Micah (Anthony Mackie) arrives in an unexpected fashion. Micah believes there is no hope of survival left and hopes to convince Sam to take the final shuttle to IO. But when favorable weather seems to be lacking and with only 48 hours until the last shuttle leaves, hope for survival gets dimmer by the hour. Will Sam and Micah make it in time? Or will they be doomed to die on an already dying planet?

     Directed by Jonathan Helpert (House of Time) and written by Clay Jeter (Jess + Moss), Charles Spano (Embers), and Will Basanta (Jess + Moss), IO (2019) is an adventure-drama-sci-fi film and a recent Netflix original. The stories premise is good, the theme was reiterated a number of times which was key to the story with references to mythology, philosophy, and literature but the pace is slow going. Part of the reason that this film received so many negative reviews and low ratings is that at first glance this film comes off like an action-packed, TV movie version of Arrival. However, that is not the case and the result is lackluster, to say the least. The ending was okay but it could have been better because it kind of just stopped and you didn’t realize that it’s over until the credits start rolling.
     The cast performances were good but they suffered a bit due to the poor story. Sam is seen writing to her beau on IO what is happening on Earth, that everything is gone and that the work she’s done seems to be meaningless, and she reiterates this throughout the film. Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys) admirably expresses the emotions Sam feels and goes through, and Anthony Mackie (Avengers) also does nicely in portraying a man who is still living with the guilt of surviving for so long.
     Overall, Netflix’s IO (2019) is an okay film. It’s not the best, meaning I probably won’t watch it again but it’s not the worst. The ending left something to be desired and right when you think you're going to get a good dose of action-drama, you instead left hanging. However, the story’s premise was good and the performances were done nicely. This is definitely worth checking out, especially if you enjoy mythology, philosophy, and/or literature.

Final Vote --- 6 of 10 stars

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