From the outset, Genesis has a hard task in standing out from the rest of other movies that focus on the dangers of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and dystopian futures. Films like I, Robot have explored this and on bigger budgets than Genesis but, saying that, does writer/director Bart Ruspoli‘s movie add something new to the genre? Disappointingly, not really.
The film starts dramatically with two men in hazmat suits running away from what can only be described as an extremely toxic cloud, caused by the chemical bomb attack which sets in motion the events of Genesis. The camera does takes on an unusual shot of being similar to first person but just looking over someone’s shoulder. This is repeated throughout the film, somehow taking away from the action and minimising drama that was building up.
We quickly move onto meeting Dr. Eve Gabriel (Olivia Grant) who is tasked with creating Abel (Chike Okonkwo), the A.I. humanoid tasked with helping mankind start over again. These two are the most interesting characters when on screen together, as they debate over humanity and morals. This set up promises to be an interesting premise, but unfortunately only descends into confusion.
The big issue with Genesis is too many characters and subplots to keep up with. For instance, we have the political clashes inside the complex Eden, where survivors live, who are led by Paul Brooks (John Hannah), a corrupt member of the security Sgt. Derek Cain (Ben Shafik), Dr. Samantha McDonald (Wendy Glenn) who has a drug habit and, of course, the main plot of the A.I. evolving and developing a dislike for humans. Writer and directing duo Freddie Hutton-Mills and Ruspoli could have done with much more of a focus on its main plot rather than see-sawing between them which ultimately leave you feeling perplexed.
Saying that, the cast of Genesis all put on a decent performance but you never really find yourself caring too much about them. Olivia Grant stands out, especially in the second half of the film, and John Hannah brings life to his character while having to constantly try and keep order amongst the survivors in Eden. Despite Abel becoming an antagonist he is unfortunately not threatening and does not feel like something which humans will struggle to overcome. This might be down to budget but if you’re trying this sort of approach, then you need to stand out in this genre.
Overall, Genesis struggles and is constantly spinning plates because of the many narratives. It is hard to envisage the sequel, which the film tries to set up, arriving anytime soon.