400 Days – ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
Well it may not have been 400 days, but 400 Days was 91 minutes I won’t get back. The worst thing was that I kind of enjoyed the movie until the ending, or the lack of an ending…
Four astronauts are locked in an underground bunker and cutoff from humanity as they simulate what it would be like to undertake a 400 day space journey. Theo (Brandon Routh) the mission commander (who was engaged to Emily (Caity Lotz), the mission psychologist) joins Dvorak (Dane Cook) and Bug (Ben Feldman) the mission’s engineer and scientist respectively. In the early going the mission seems to be progressing normally, but soon the crew begin to think something is amiss. Could they be hallucinating, could their imaginations be getting away from them, or could they really be seeing people hiding in the shadows of their “ship”? Or could this all be a test by mission control? Eventually the crew escape the ship and find the world above them has been destroyed, with only unexplainable pockets of humanity left in the surrounding towns. Running up against seemingly cannibalistic locals and gangs of survivors, the crew escape to take refuge in their bunker/ship, as the timer for their 400 day mission reaches zero. The doors to the craft open and….that’s it. Fade to black. Roll credits.
What actually happened here? No resolution and no explanation. Was the apocalyptic world real or part of the simulation? If it was real, what caused it? Who knows? I almost suspect that the writer (Matt Osterman who is also not coincidentally the director) didn’t know how to wrap it up. This wasn’t the way to do it. It should have either ended two minutes earlier, or went on for two minutes longer. I invested my time to watch the film, I wanted closure not ambiguity.
Bottom Line: to re-excite my brain after watching this I binged a few discs of The Twilight Zone. Where Is Everybody was much more rewarding because it knew how to tell a story properly. It kept the tension throughout the episode and explained itself to the audience at the end so it all made sense. The audience (or at least this member of it) was happy.