REVIEW: Atomica (2017)

atomica

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2017, SyFy Films/Lifeboat Productions

Director:
Dagen Merrill
Producers:
Jaime Burke
Vahan Paretchan
Writers:
Kevin Burke
Federico Fernandez-Arnesto
Adam Gyngell
Cinematography:
Timothy A. Burton
Editing:
Joseph Ettinger
Eric Frith

Cast:
Sarah Habel (Abby)
Dominic Monaghan (Robinson)
Tom Sizemore (Dr. Zek)
Phil Austin (Rhine)
Tony Doupe (Father)
Hahn Cho (David)
Jennifer Spriggs (Margot)

In this futuristic drama, a young woman’s simple attempts to bring back communications get more complicated than she expects.

Abby Dixon, a safety inspector and chief technical officer, has been called upon to go to an isolated nuclear power plant, responsible for energy within an area. The communications of the plant have been shut down and she must head there to resolve the problem. After being dropped off, she arrives at the facility and runs into one of the employees, Robinson.

Robinson is very wary of Abby, but intends to help her with her issue. When Abby asks for the location of the plant’s facilitator, Dr. Zek, Robinson attempts to constantly avoid the issue. However, when Abby finds Dr. Zek in the unbreathable “red area”, she makes a successful attempt to save him. However, after the rescue, Abby begins to notice very strange behaviors from both Robinson and Dr. Zek as the truth behind the communications shutdown slowly begin to unravel.

This film is not so much a typical sci-fi movie but more of a drama in the vein of films like Solaris amongst others. It is a more drama-filled film that happens to be set in the future. The only flaw of the film is that is does tend to drag in the middle, but brings redemption in the third act, where the truth behind the shutdown is revealed and it brings a little bit of shock value that may be seen as predictable but is at the same twisting to good effect.

Sarah Habel, currently seen in the CW’s Riverdale, is pretty good as the stern Abby, who just wants to get her mission accomplished so she can return home. Little do we know she has a bit of a past that causes her to act the way she does in the present day. Dominic Monaghan of Lord of the Rings and Lost brings a bit of chaos to the mix as Robinson, the unstable employee at the power plant. There is a scene where in an attempt to talk to Abby, goes on and on about trying drugs and it tends to be quite laughable. It makes you wonder if Habel, who in the scene is clearly calm, actually cracked up while making the film. As for Tom Sizemore, he makes the most of his screen time, which seems quite limited in the pivotal role of plant facilitaror Dr. Zek, who may have a skeleton or two in his closet as does both Abby and Robinson.

Atomica is not a complete waste of time, but it does have the age-old “big drag” in the middle but thankfully offers redemption in its big reveal and Dominic Monaghan’s unstable Robinson as well as Sarah Habel’s Abby makes this pretty watchable for a futuristic drama.

WFG RATING: B-

SyFy Films will be releasing this film in select theaters on March 17 followed by a VOD/Digital HD release on March 21.

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