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Air (2015) - IMDbReview

Air (Sci-Fi, Thriller) (2015)


Director: Christian Cantamessa

Writer: Christian Cantamessa, Chris Pasetto

Stars: Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt, Michael Hogan

Due to a catastrophic event that has made the air outside unbreathable, a group of maintenance workers are responsible for the operation of an underground bunker. This facility houses cryostasis capsules containing scientists capable of rebuilding the world once Earth's oxygen is again viable.

Primarily having written content for video games, "Air" serves as Cantamessa's feature film debut, thus existing as his only experience in feature film apart from a handful of shorts. Intriguing with its narrative setting, "Air" creates a sense of inherent claustrophobia and tension. It has been produced by Stage 6 Films, Automatik, Circle of Confusion, Oddfellows Entertainment and Skybound Entertainment while being distributed by Vertical Entertainment as well as producer Stage 6 Films.

When a biochemical disaster renders the Earth's oxygen unbreathable, significant portions of the human population are wiped out in the process. The U.S. government ensures the brightest minds in the scientific field are housed in cryogenic sleeping chambers in underground facilities managed by maintenance personnel. These individuals are awoken every six months, overseeing standard tasks and assuring each pod remains in working condition before returning to their sleep cycle.

Air | Rotten TomatoesHaving seen a multitude of science fiction apocalypse scenarios, "Air" through the writing of Cantamessa and Pasetto delivers a look at the unsung martyrs in such a setting. When everyone is unsure of any chance of a future, these labourers ensure that humanity can persist. Promising ambitions must only be tied together with an engaging narrative and direction.

Through limited means in environment and world-building, Cantamessa quickly sows tension between those who hold the only hope for humankind in their power. These comfortable friends in Hounsou's Cartwright and Reedus' Bauer appear comfortable, as friends would be used to their bond, forced or not. Factors shown easily convince the viewer of Cartwright and Bauer's position and deliver a statement that much is possible with the littlest of financial backing. 

Watch Air (2015) - Free Movies | TubiEstablishing a setting comes easy for "Air" without determining direction properly beforehand. It's held aloft by Reedus, Hounsou and some appearances by Holt, who allows for a dusting of psychological thriller themes. It's a likeable departure for each actor, in essence, compared to massive projects they've featured in before. Yet, without any thought through development, tension feels rushed, and the viewer is never allowed to get hooked entirely. Slight tones of psychological effects presented through Holt get left in the corner with the script attempting to provide an action-packed finale sequence to regain an audience that was never there.

Much like an airlock, "Air" feels like a chamber slowly being depleted of oxygen. Incapable of the ability to breathe, the actors and the narrative are abruptly thrown into a landscape that leaves them breathless in a negative sense.


Grasping for air.