AIR: A “Quiet Thriller”


As a big fan of both Red Dead Redemption and The Walking Dead, I was excited to see AIR; after all, it was directed by Christian Cantamessa (best known for his work on RDR) and produced by Robert Kirkman (writer of the TWD comics).

Not to mention the fact that AIR stars Norman Reedus, who is awesome as Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead, and two-time Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (who I actually interviewed earlier this week!).

AIR Norman ReedusI wish that I could say the film lived up to its hype, but unfortunately that’s just not the case. That doesn’t mean it was a bad movie – I just think that my love for all of the aforementioned things bolstered my expectations a little too much.

One thing I noted toward the beginning of AIR is how it had a similar feel to 2009’s Duncan Jones/Sam Rockwell flick Moon, though sadly AIR wasn’t quite of the same caliber. Still, it had that psychological tension of being set in a fairly enclosed space, and though there were two characters and an invisible friend rather than just one man, I think the comparison still stands.

I liked the dynamics of Norman Reedus’s character Bauer – there was a good bit of development with him as the movie progressed – but in the end it was Djimon Hounsou who truly stole the scenes. Unfortunately, even this couldn’t save AIR from its biggest problem – that being that even though it was a thriller, it was too slow and quiet at times. Once in a while the pace worked to build tension, but far too often it didn’t.

AIR Djimon Hounsou

Thankfully the one thing this movie doesn’t do is preach at you. The world met its ‘end’ via chemical warfare, but this is more a fact than a plot point – the story is about Bauer and Hounsou’s character Cartwright; their job, their relationship, and Cartwright’s seemingly deteriorating mental state, as he essentially has an ‘invisible friend’ in the form of a woman named Abby (Sandrine Holt).

With a lot of predictable yet still often horrific plot twists, and of course thanks to two actors that I can’t imagine not loving to watch, I think AIR is one of those movies that you have to see for yourself – especially if you enjoy character-driven thrillers and/or post-apocalyptic stories.

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.


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