Netflix has sure hopped on the post-apocalyptic film bandwagon. Just a few weeks ago we were writing a review of Bird Box. Now here we are with another – IO, which, in case you didn’t know, is one of Jupiter’s moons. In the movie, a human settlement is orbiting IO because Earth had become reduced to a toxic, poisonous wasteland. On Earth, there are still pockets of breathable air, which is where we find our hero, Sam, a young scientist who chose to remain on Earth and try to find a way for life to continue on the dying planet.
Then enters Micah, arriving by helium balloon, who is trying to convince her they must get to the last ship, Exodus, soon leaving Earth for the colony off IO.
Let’s start with the good!
The plot is different from most post-apocalyptic movies. There are no zombies. No fighting over gasoline. No roving gangs of bad dudes. In fact, Sam and Micah are only two characters. That, in my opinion, makes for an interesting setting. The land is devoid of people. Sam, with the help of an ATV and oxygen tanks, is free to roam the terrain without fear of villains. Not even any mutated beasts. This makes for eerie, quiet, and reflective scenes.
Sam’s home is a sweet post-apocalyptic pad. She’s got wind power, satellite dish, solar panels, greenhouse, bee hives, and plenty of communication equipment. Best of all, for her, it’s in a rare spot of remaining oxygen. It’s a post-apocalyptic prepper’s paradise.
The movie is 1 hour and 36 minutes long. I tire of movies that drag on and on. If I’m going to invest my limited time in a movie, I not only want it to be good, and I want it to be of reasonable length. This brings us to…
It might only be 1 hour and 36 minutes, but… it… is… really… slow.
Margaret Qualley, the actress playing Sam, is not very good. She struggles to show emotion. She walks in a robot-like movement, as though that is somehow great acting. She’s… dull.
The title. IO? The movie isn’t really about IO the moon. Yes, Micah is trying to convince Sam to head to the settlement there, but the movie isn’t really about IO. It’s about life, trying to find some semblance of life on a dying planet. It’s about love of home. It’s about being torn between wanting to stay, and feeling the need to leave.
IO is trending at 40% on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. I think it’s better than that. I give it an additional 10% based simply on its relatively original post-apocalyptic plot.
Two and a half mushroom clouds for IO!
We now add IO to our Complete List of Post-Apocalyptic Movies.