IO is worth watching if:
- You want a post-apocalyptic story about people and isolation.
- You want to trick a sci-fi lover into watching a romance movie.
- You loved watching Margaret Qualley in Death Note.
IO is not worth watching if:
- You’re expecting a lot of futuristic gadgets and gizmos.
- The writing needs to be great.
- You expect a lot of action.
- Easy to follow with only a couple of characters in a small setting.
- The story is conceptually pretty interesting.
- You get some decent character development over small talk.
- Not much eventful happens for the most part.
- You can easily poke plot holes in the narrative.
- The script isn’t good enough for such a dialogue-centric movie.
score: 65% CHILLIN
One sentence story summary: As a young scientist searches for a way to save a dying Earth, she finds a connection with a man who’s racing to catch the last shuttle off the planet.
Less than a month since it released Bird Box and Netflix already has a new post-apocalyptic film available to stream.
While the two share a few similarities, the Netflix Original IO is quite a different film.
The plot of IO follows young Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley), a scientific research assistant who has stuck around a deserted toxic Earth way longer than her peers. Walden lives in a safe pocket tucked up high in the mountains, and is devoted to her daily experiments that might help make Earth’s air breathable again one day.
Walden soon finds out that if she ever wants to join the rest of her species on IO, she’ll need to abandon her research and catch the last fleet of ships leaving Earth by the end of the week. Otherwise, she’ll have to stay behind and live as possibly the only human being on the planet.
Her opportunity to leave comes thanks to a man in a hot air balloon named Micah (Anthony Mackie), who visits for his own reasons…
The whole movie is basically the relationship that goes on between Sam and Micah as they stay locked up in Walden’s small research center. They discuss life, relationships making the move to IO, and experience what it’s like to be all alone on a planet together.
While the edges of the story are painted with a sci-fi brush, it really is more of a romantic drama. Not just between Sam and Micah, but Sam also has a long-distance boyfriend on IO who we forgot to mention. (Ok we didn’t forget, he’s just kind of a dweeb and if you live over 300 million miles away it doesn’t really count as dating.)
So much of the movie is the development of Micah and Sam’s relationship, that with so few major plot events, it better be what you’re looking for.
Fortunately, the acting is mostly solid and everything is well-directed and easy to follow. Unfortunately, the script can be really spotty at times, and for a story so rooted in science, there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t hold up if you spend too long thinking about it.
Still, there is a certain chemistry between the actors and an overall intrigue that should you keep a lot of viewers fairly satisfied. If you were hoping for some sci-fi masterpiece, try a different galaxy. But if relationships are at the center of your universe, you might want to hop on for the ride.
IO includes Netflix Regulars:
Margaret Qualley as Sam