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95 minutes
drama, sci-fi, thriller

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This entry created 26 December 2020. Last revised on 26 December 2020.

751 hits since 26 Dec 2020
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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The movie begins with a montage as an American president launches a war, assures everyone they are safe while evacuating key people into special bunkers…

The camera then descends into a bunker at an unknown period in the future. The outside air is contaminated. Two technicians waken every six months, and must perform maintenance on a two-hour air supply before returning to sleep. Elsewhere in the bunker are long-term sleepers with knowledge that must be preserved for the future.

The problem? The bunker was hastily retrofitted, is equipped with old technology, has limited communications and insufficient spare parts. And each of the men – Bauer (played by Norman Reedus), technically gifted but crass; and Cartwright (played by Djimon Hounsou), serious minded – has a secret. And one of them is seeing a ghost…

After a series of crises, the two technicians find themselves left with one functioning sleeper couch between them. Can they find spare parts? Will they kill a long-term sleeper to use that couch? Can they get help from a nearby bunker? Will one of the techs commit murder?

This movie has a lot of atmosphere (groan), with an air-supply countdown clock, the 'old' tech (1980s?), vintage Farrah Fawcett poster, even a dial-up modem at one point. The ghost effects are well done.

My primary problem with the movie is what seems to be a major plot hole: without giving everything away, someone seems to do something before they have motive to do so. A secondary problem is the sound level: the characters often mumble to themselves or while wearing masks, and it is difficult to tell what they are saying.

Both performers do an excellent job. The ending is not a typical 'happy ending'.

Can you game it? Yes, but you would want to make it balanced for both players. Or you might be inspired to try a campaign based on emerging from a bunker into a post-apocalyptic world.

I mostly liked the movie. I wish the ghost subplot had been fully resolved. The plot hole annoys me.