Genesis is set years after a terrible chemical strike, where the outside air is lethal. It harbours an ominous red mist, which melts the skin. Surviving humans reside in specially tailored bunkers, all named after Biblical locations. The main focus is on the survivors in Eden, which shelters civilians, scientists, soldiers and politicians. One scientist, Eve Gabriel (Olivia Grant), builds a very human-like android called Abel (Chiké Okonkwo). When Abel goes rogue, leaving Eden to explore the other bunkers (Babel and Jericho), Lt Shane Frost (Paul Nicholls) has to brave the wasteland and find him.
Although Ruspoli and Hutton-Mills draw their characters in thick detail, there are too many of them. The viewer’s emotional investment is stretched too thin. We have a President of Eden (Ed Stoppard), a vice-president (Stefano Braschi), a Chief of Staff (Warren Brown) who’s after the President’s job, a vox-populi civilian (John Hannah) who demands basic human rights, three scientists (one who’s a drug-addict), and an Alien-like robot that grows to despise humans. And that’s not counting guards and soldiers. It’s a lot to deal with in a confined space. And although it’s clear the writer-directors understand how to build great characters, they don’t know when to kill them.
The most glaring problem is the CGI. The movie clearly didn’t have the budget for higher-quality special effects, making it comparable to a YouTube fan-film. At least the plot is good enough to engage with, despite its issues – one can still follow and enjoy the story.
Genesis tries its best and should be commended for its efforts (particularly in nabbing some great telly talent, with the likes of John Hannah and Warren Brown), but can’t escape its faults. Even with a suitable budget, the script can be laughably on-the-nose – especially in the awkward naming of the characters, all related in some way to Christianity (Cain, Abel, Eve, Pope etc). It’s a film that could well survive in the depths of Netflix, but cinemas would shoot it on site.
Genesis is released digitally on demand on 9th July and on DVD on 16th July 2018.
Watch the trailer for Genesis here: