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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Rubikon (2022)

I can't help but wonder if something got lost in the script translation (or maybe perception?) from Germanic Austrian to English. Not wrong so much as, well, absent. The first act here feels decidedly wanting for clarity for example, the character arcs are largely ignored and the film assumes a higher degree of patience from its audience than it has earned the right to expect.


This is unfortunate as the performances are quite strong, particularly from George Blagden. His clarity only highlights the errors in inflection from his main non-English counterparts, which becomes obvious and a little tiresome before long. German and Russian languages are not known for their romantic overtones, often coming across as brisk and forthright, and this much is apparent here.


Despite the sometimes jarring delivery, the story whilst possible, is still ludicrously unlikely and the events and their consequences never really convince, undermined by the inconvenience of actual science in a film that expects the viewer to be taken in purely by its very real climactic issues and little else.


By the second act, there is a hint at the absurdity of humanity, which is a welcome release from the silent worrying and gloom previously offered, insomuch that it might even conjure a smile out of you. Ironic self-realisation is a great leveller, after all. "There is no planet B," being a highlight of underlying whimsy that raises its head all too rarely.


This doesn't last, however, and the 'three-men-in-a-boat' scenario again becomes all too overbearing. Circumstances force our three main protagonists to decide whether to leave their space station and travel back to a now dead earth, to save what few living humans remain, using the same algae that is keeping them alive in space.


I dislike being lectured to, covertly messaging my moral compass with slight-of-hand, dressed up as entertainment, and there is probably just a little too much of that here, which the project has already recognised that it's guilty of. This meanders incessantly overall, dancing silently around a simple plot made complicated by the projects' own sense of self-importance. It qualifies only as sci-fi, given its choice of location, but this would make as much sense (more so, even) had it been made in a hole in the ground.



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