Director: Zak Hilditch (2016)
With the end of the world only twelve hours away, society has descended into an orgy of sex, suicide, booze, drugs and violence.
And that’s just the first five minutes of this scorchingly apocalyptic Australian road movie.
A meteorite has caused Europe, Africa and the Americas to be engulfed in an rolling inferno, and Perth is last on the list.
Nathan Phillips is well cast as buff surfer dude James, desperately racing to a party to be with his girlfriend.
With it’s vehicle hopping, dry humour and brutal violence, this is arguably an unofficial and worthy prequel to George Miller’s magnificent Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). It offers an explanation of how society reached there from here.
The smart script by the director Hilditch offers James choices whose actions flesh out his character. Further bonus points are gained by never compromising the central premise.
Cinematographer Bonnie Elliot exploits the local light in extraordinary ways by saturating the screen in blistering red, orange and yellow.
Plaudits also to the production designer Nigel Davenport for stretching the budget and providing vehicles in a suitably searing shades of ochre.
Similarly to Max, James is defined by the relationships he has with the women in his life.
Jessica De Gouw and Kathryn Beck offer bikini clad support as James’ girlfriends Zoe and Vicky. Lynette Curran steals a scene as his mother.
En route to see Vicky, James’ rescues a young school girl from a pair of paedophiles.
Angourie Rice gives a remarkable performance as the sweet and straight talking Rose, who insists on being taken to her waiting father.
These reluctant fellow travellers offer each other the possibility of redemption as they work out what is really important in the short time they have left.