IO | Netflix

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What would you do if you were all alone on Earth? The animals have disappeared, the Earth is dying, the human race has given up, and the people have fled. IO is a Netflix original movie that was released on 18 January 2019. In a nutshell, it’s a dystopian sci-fi that explores the very essence of hope.

“Sam (Margaret Qualley ), one of the last survivors on a post-cataclysmic Earth, is a young scientist dedicated to finding a way for humans to adapt and survive, rather than abandon their world. But with the final shuttle scheduled to leave the planet for a distant colony, her determination to stay is rocked by the arrival of another survivor, Micah (Anthony Mackie ). She must decide whether to journey with him to join the rest of humanity and begin life anew, or stay to fight for Earth’s survival. – IMDB”

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The thing that stood out for me was that even though the plot included the aftermath of Earth devastation and the existence of a distant space colony where humans had fled, the core focus of the movie was the characters, their feelings, their dreams, and their hope. The cinematography was atmospheric and not overdone. It gave me a real sense of how things could be without stripping out the reality to which I could relate.

Sam Walden is all alone in a pocket of land that can still support life. Her father has taught her to stay true to her dreams and to keep hope in her heart. Even though everyone else has given up and fled the planet, she continues to believe that everything will turn out, and that nature will adapt and find a way to survive. It’s that core quality that drives her and keeps her going. I thought Margaret Qualley did a great job as Sam, given that it’s totally her for the first half of the movie. Her acting was strong enough to make me believe.

Along comes Micah, a traveller who is heading for the last shuttle from Earth. It’s time to see Sam interact, share her story, and learn how to trust. I have to mention there was one point at about the one hour mark that I thought was off track, and thankfully it was quick and the movie moved on. But I think that’s more than enough information from me at this point, I don’t want to give too much away and spoil it for others.

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IO was a surprising hit for me. Make sure that you keep watching until the end. It wasn’t until then that I came to realise how important and planned that small scene I mentioned earlier was.

My Verdict: An engaging and compelling story of perseverance and hope in a world where everyone else has given up.


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