Movie Review: Atomica (2017)

Synopsis: In the near future, Earth receives all its energy from tri-fission reactors, which both produce nuclear energy and draw additional energy from cleaning up the nuclear waste. On Christmas Day, the first of those reactors loses communication and a technician, Abby, travels to Australia's Gibson Desert to diagnose and fix the problem. When she arrives, she finds the reactor is run down and the only occupant is the caretaker, Robinson. The other occupant, Dr. Zek, has reportedly gone mad and fled the station. When Abby discovers the reactor has been sabotaged and a rescued Zek tells a different story, she doesn't know who to trust.

Who's in it? The movie stars Sarah Habel, Tom Sizemore, Dominic Monaghan and Phil Austin.

Review: I wanted to watch a movie last night and wound up picking out the first one that looked halfway interesting, this film. To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it, other than I knew it would be low budget since it was on SyFy. As it turns out, it wound up not being a very good choice at all.

Ironically, the low budget wasn't even the problem. The special effects, while not spectacular, didn't detract from the film as is often the case. The main issue ended up being the overall movie itself.

One of the biggest problems with this film is it is quite dull. Abby (Habel) doesn't have a whole lot of personality and practically no backstory, other than she witnessed her grandmother being killed. As a result, she doesn't seem to mesh well with Robinson's (Monaghan) eccentric ways. I think this movie was relying heavily on that dynamic, especially since they are the only two characters for a very large portion of the film.

The overall plot is also lacking. Ultimately, there really isn't a whole lot for Abby to do once she reaches the reactor and, as a result of that, it felt like a lot of the scenes were either dragged out or added just to pad the runtime. Based on what we were expected to believe about her level of knowledge, she should have detected the sabotage minutes after arriving. And for someone who was supposed to be smart, she sure took the whole "nothing could possibly go wrong with this reactor" claim as gospel. 

Probably the only interesting thing about this movie was trying to figure out whether Robinson or Zek (Sizemore) was the bad guy. I'll even be fair and say that part was surprisingly good because there were reasons to believe either (or both) could be lying. Unfortunately, it was also a very small part of an otherwise boring movie, and the somewhat crappy ending ruined it either way.

Final Opinion: I had hoped this would be a surprise gem. Instead, it was a very dull and almost completely pointless movie. I wouldn't recommend it.

My Grade: F


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