‘Warning’ Movie Review: A Bleak Future Not Too Far Away

‘Warning’ Movie Review:

The dystopian flick ‘Warning’ is the first feature for music video director Agata Alexander and puts together different narrative miniatures resulting in an interestingly thoughtful low-key piece of motion picture. This flick produced by Lionsgate and shot in Poland is in select theatres, digital, and VOD platforms starting October 22.

‘Warning’ presents a different version of a near-future dystopia away from what audiences are accustomed to in the cinema, one that has the possibility of becoming a reality pretty soon. In the background, time is running out as people gradually lose their humanity. At the same time, at the forefront, audiences explore how advancements in technology might be taking over people’s lives in the guise of improving them. The film is an upbeat collection of various stories that interlock, resulting in a refreshing, unique tale.

Though it is not solely focused on the usual action imagery associated with the genre, ‘Warning’ exudes a relatively subtle and intriguing stripe that is engaging enough to grab and retain the attention of open-minded genre fans while staying smart to attract the audiences who are looking for something out of the box away from the usual genre tropes viewers have been fed over the years.

‘Warning’ Movie Review:

One of the narratives follows David. This role is played by Thomas Jane, a lone maintenance professional doing a routine repair on an orbiting satellite, when suddenly, an electrical accident knocks him off course. Now floating around in space with only an AI link as a companion, he frantically calls for help from the command center seeking to be rescued, something that seems dim. All alone, drifting about exhausted and terrified, with just a few days of oxygen supply, he starts to reflect on what he has done in his life, which is hanging on the balance pondering on the achievements as well as failures and everything else he has done while alive.

The story ping pongs between Earth and space as his team desperately tries to find ways to save their colleague. Back on Earth, there is Charlie, an outdated companion robot played by Rupert Everett. Despite being left behind by technological advancements, the warehouse keeper Brian played by Tomasz Kot, believes that Charlie is still usable and tries to get him a new gig. Then there is Claire, a role by Alice Eve, a pampered young woman highly dependent on her Alexa-like device whom she calls god. When this assistant breaks down, she finds it impossible to survive without its assistance. She finds herself destabilized and unable to forge forward as her life is so reliant on this machine to the extent that she doesn’t know any other life without it.

There are also two sets of couples consisting of Ben and Anna embodied by Patrick Schwarzenegger, the son of the legendary action star Arnold, and Kylie Bunbury, respectively. They seem to be leading an ideal romantic life. But the relationship takes a creepy turn when she discovers that Ben is still carrying on with a virtual reality of herself, and their union hits a rough patch. The other couple encompasses Nina, a role by Annabell Wallis, and Liam, played by Alex Pettyfer, who come from two different spheres. Nina is a mortal, while Liam can choose immortality as his family has the privilege of having extended life. When he brings the girl of his dreams home to his wealthy parents, the situation becomes awkward as this love is mixed, something the rich folks don’t approve of.

The other tale is that of Magda, a role by Garance Mallier. She is living in poverty in a trailer with her mother, who is a notorious alcoholic. She is looking forward to a better life and is willing to do anything that comes her way. She rents out her body to an old man that she’s been matched with online for a small fee. But not the way many among the audience would think as to how it works is that his mind will inhabit her young and gorgeous body for 48 hours affording him the chance to enjoy a night of partying amongst youngsters in a luxurious hotel. The process runs quite seamlessly at first but swiftly spirals out of control.

Throughout these different but interconnected stories, one can’t help to note the risk of humans over-relying on technology for their daily functionality, which is becoming common nowadays. ‘Warning’ is more dependent on the various ideas and strong performances rather than delivering a spectacle. In terms of overall visual outlook, this feature boasts adequate sci-fi looks to the table consisting of excellently scaled FX work and fantastic widescreen cinematography. The production design is well done, zooming into the tiny details that represent the bigger picture. The screenplay and editing excellently piece the various tales together, and even though some storylines go by too quickly, others run till the end.

‘Warning’ is laced in cautionary and philosophical messages that are thought-provoking presented straightforwardly. Thomas is excellent as David as he fully absorbs the character bringing out the piteous feeling considering his situation. He becomes the symbol of how alone every person is in the end, and what the film seems to be saying is that the best we can do is accept the outcome as it was crafted to be, a classic case of “They made their own bed, so they better lie on it.”

The central message of this feature is to show human beings that the reason that they are so over-reliant on technology is that they don’t want to relate to each other and if they don’t relate to each other, that human touch is lost, and that’s a loss for the humankind since the way humans are wired is that people need to be kind to each other in order to be happy.

The various scenarios work up to a mildly surprising ending which spells doom for all those involved, a twist which could have been described as a tragedy if only there was room to pity any of the characters involved. Eventually, the film manages to drive its message home. If viewed with an open mind, it is an eye-opening watch worth every minute spent on it.

SCORE: 6/10

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.