Alexandre Aja’s follow-up to Crawl is a monotonous bore that features a cine performance by the lead, but is an altogether familiar film that fails to stand out.
Mélanie Laurent stars as a woman who wakes up in a cryogenic pod with no memories and depleting oxygen. If you’ve seen Ryan Reynolds’ Buried, you’ve seen Oxygen. The film differentiates itself with it’s sci-fi DNA, but offers little uniqueness. A solo film like this requires the audience to become invested in the film’s subject, something I was unable to achieve throughout the entire film. Though there is expected intrigue in finding out just what is happening, the film falters in reaching any sense of a satisfactory conclusion.
Though beautifully shot and well-enough acted, Oxygen misses the mark in almost every conceivable way. Once the answers slowly start rolling in, the utter annoyance of Laurent arguing with the AI has peaked and boredom has taken over. Aja’s talents are wasted here; I am waiting to see what he could do with a true human drama that doesn’t rely on a familiar trope (creature film, solo isolation, etc.). I expected more after the surprising film that Crawl was.
Oxygen will ultimately drift to the depths of Netflix and sadly make me wary of any future releases from the director.
Oxygen hits Netflix tomorrow.
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