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DVD Review

DVD cover

20 Years After (Region 1 Edition)


Starring: Azura Skye and Joshua Leonard
MTI Home Video
RRP: $24.95
Certificate: R
Available 07 October 2008

Mans fall from grace was accompanied by war and natural disaster, even when the populations had to flee the cities. The refugee camps descended into in-fighting, until famine and disease forced that small handful of survivors into the countryside. Now twenty years on the survivors hide in caves and scratch out a subsistence living. With no children having been born for the last fifteen years Sarah’s pregnancy takes on a particular significance. Driven out of her home, due to drought, she travels inspired by the lone voice of Michael, whose lone radio station brings hope to those that remain. Her path crosses that of Michael and they travel to what they hope will be a better life, but there are others after the baby...

20 Years After (2008 - 1 hr, 35 min, 06 sec) is a post apocalyptic tale directed by Jim Torres from a script by Torres and Ron Harris. The cast has mainly been drawn from television actors.

The film was made on a very modest budget, which explains the limited special effects, which feel very much like a cheapish, made for television film. However what the budget cannot explain is the major flaws with the film. Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project) plays Michael a little too laid back, draining many of his scenes of potential tension. Azura Skye does a little better with her part, but then she plays Sarah as a pretty passive character. The rest of the cast range from adequate to downright awful.

The script is pretty awful, not least the logic of the thing, though to be fair to 20 Years it was also conveniently skipped over in Children of Men (2006), one baby will not a new race make, so why get all excited as you’re all still going to be extinct. The villain of the piece Margaret, played by Diane Salinger, is an unconvincing character that would not have made it in a Mad Max film. Her motives for wanting the baby are either undefined or spurious and her delivery of, what is in places a very poor script, is bored and unconvincing. The only good thing about the film is some of the cinematography in the caves where the survivors live.

There is little that can be said to big up this film, it’s the sort of thing that you’d turn over if it were on television - a real sub-B movie. The disc that was sent for review was very basic and apart from the theatrical trailer had none of the promised extras included, but from the blurb you get a director's commentary, a behind the scenes feature.

The reviews copy was also presented in a strangely basic format, but apparently the finished film will be in 16:9 ration with a 5.1 track, though I do not think that any of this will enhance what is ultimately a very poor film.


Charles Packer

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