How many more times will you hear me utter the words ‘movie didn’t get cinematic release due to Covid’ – well here’s another.
And it’s probably good it didn’t – as all the debris gets picked off by the streaming giants.
Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland actually filmed this sci-fi drama before they’d finished Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Spider-Man: Far from Home respectively – it was originally meant to be released way before the pandemic in March 2019 – and Amazon have snagged the final result.
Which sadly – despite the best efforts of an eager cast – isn’t much.
The story follows Holland’s Todd Hewitt, a young man living in a 2258AD dystopian future, on the distant planet of New World – colonised by people whose grandparents/parents came from Earth decades before.
Here’s the intriguing premise though, on this planet all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in streams of images, words and sounds called ‘Noise’ – with all the women (who weren’t blighted with the condition) having been killed off in a bitter civil war with the native humanoid species called ‘The Spackle’.
But when Ridley’s young woman Viola crash-lands in a pod from a master spaceship on a scouting mission, this throws up more questions than answers to their past existence and current motives surrounding the local town’s mayor David Prentiss (Casino Royale’s Mads Mikkelson) – and Todd decides to help her try and escape danger.
And keep his male hormones in check at the same time – with Viola able to see everything he’s thinking whether he likes it or not.
But despite small pockets of intrigue – and the best efforts of Holland, Ridley and Mikkelson – this doesn’t really do the source material justice, and even the planet’s alien inhabitants are an afterthought.
Which is a shame coming from director Doug Liman, who has previous success in the genre with 2014’s fan-favourite Edge of Tomorrow.
Sadly, he couldn’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear – as this chaotically-conceived mess very quickly fades to silence. And from memory.
ESP Rating: 2/5
Amazon Prime Exclusive, Out Now
Cast: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Demian Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, Kurt Sutter & David Oyelowo
Running Time: 1 Hr 49 Mins
Director: Doug Liman