The Humanity Bureau (2017)

Rating: C

Dir: Rob W. King
Star: Nicolas Cage, Sarah Lind, Jakob Davies, Hugh Dillon

Much like the forewarning that ‘this is a Netflix film (get over it)’, well, this is a Nic Cage film, with all that that entails.  So.  Warnings warned, please fasten your seatbelts and put your tray-table in the upright and locked position.

The backdrop is a dystopian future in a new-age America, where wars and climate change has robbed the people of much more than scraping a subsistence living.  This is the new America where everyone must return more than they take, else The Humanity Bureau will adjudge you as being fit for being deported to the sun-lit uplands of Brexit New Eden.

It’s nicely shot, as we find a tired looking Noah Kross (Cage) looking rather run down and grumpy despite his impending promotion within the bureau.  For, as it turns out, our investigator is also being investigated.

I’m not sure that Nic Cage can actually act, but I do quite like him on-screen, and this film is typical.  He ‘holds’ the camera well and the film starts out in a fairly low-key manner, as our crumpled protagonist trudges from one ‘deportation’ to another.  Quite why the folks are so unhappy to be sent to the very obviously a death camp sun-lit haven of New Eden isn’t quite explained, as Noah goes from job to job, confronting a harsh reality.  Both his and others.

“You had a heart once.”

If at this point you’re thinking Soylent Green and Logan’s Run, well you’d be right, but you should also add a dash of Mad Max into the mix.

At his next case Noah encounters a mother and son, Rachel (Sarah Lind) and Lucas (Jakob Davies) who are marked for ‘sunlit uplands’, and for reasons unknown he decides to help them in making a break for Canada.  At this point the chaser becomes the runner, and the film switches gear to become a generic action film.  Yes, there is of course a ‘twist to the plot’ coming, but by the time it arrives I seriously doubt that even the screen-writer’s mother was giving a toss.

“I came here on vacation, and things did not go well…”

To be honest I’m bored, so let’s sum up.  It’s an okay film that two days later is hard to recall in any way.  The notes say that there’s some nice scenery along the way, it’s well shot, and that Cage does a uncomplicated job of portraying an ageing man confronting his past and also Canada.  It’s your call as to which one haunts him the most.

“The trick is to hold your breath before you go under [water].”  Uh huh.  You think?

I was going to give it a ‘+’ but, given I can barely recall one jot of it, it’s a C for Competent, with maybe a silent ‘-‘ as it is, at best, ‘barely’.