Dir: Jared Drake
Star: Zach Galifianakis, Judy Greer, James Le Gros, Mia Maestro

In the near future, the country is run by the immense, all-powerful Jeffers Corporation. George Washington Winsterhammerman (Galifianakis), a distant descendant of the President, is a low-grade employee of the corporation - a "visioneer," though it is never made clear what that is - with a wife (Greer) who could hardly be chillier, and a son who never comes out of his room. The country is struck by an epidemic of people exploding, including someone who works in the same office as George, and he begins to worry that he is in line to be next, especially when it is announced that the victims "suffered from dreams." That's something which have increasing been plaguing George, in which he takes the part of his ancestor. As the stress continues to pile up on George, is it time for him to re-evaluate his lifestyle? There's the example of his brother, who now spends all the time pole-vaulting, or the unseen colleague Charisma (Maestro), who has quit the corporation, to become a waitress.

Christ, this is awful: you can see why it never even sniffed distribution until Galifianakis became a star in The Hangover. It wants to be like Brazil, but Drake lacks Gilliam's sense of surreal vision, and the script has, literally, nothing interesting to say, once you get past the first five minutes. Those feels almost like a stage-play here, and could have been more interesting if it had stayed in the office, rather than wandering outside to roam aimless around while Galifianakis pulls increasingly-"tortured" faces. Ok, we get it: this is a dreary world, especially for those who have reduced themselves to corporate drones. Now, what? George is never turned into a sympathetic, or even interesting character, and no-one else even gets the chance to rise above stereotypical supporting roles. Failing to be dark enough or sufficiently original to be interesting, the dystopian future has been done an awful lot better, and the film even lacks the decency to liven proceedings up with some splattery explosions. The film is a bigger bomb than any of the characters.

[December 2010]

Black future
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