Sam is a young scientist, writing to her boyfriend Elon who is worlds away, on a space station called IO, along with nearly all remaining humans. People fled Earth as it became uninhabitable. Now the IO colony has turned its sights toward another planet near Alpha Centauri, and they’re cutting ties with Earth in order to dedicate all resources to this new plan. Any humans still surviving on Earth have 4 days to catch the last of the shuttles, or forever be left behind.

mv5bmgzlyjc4yjutnjnhni00ytvhlwi3ztqtota1ody2ntkwngi0xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntc5otmwotq@._v1_sy1000_cr0,0,1364,1000_al_Sam (Margaret Qualley) has no way of making those shuttles until Micah (Anthony Mackie) shows up in a helium balloon. He’s heard the broadcasts from Sam’s father, a famous scientist who steadfastly remained behind in order to study Earth’s atmosphere and gauge whether life may once again be tenable on Earth. Micah is their only chance at escape, but he’s finding the last Earthlings to be pretty ambivalent about leaving rather than grateful for rescue.

IO is not breaking any new ground in terms of the apocalypse, or science fiction. Qualley and Mackie are totally lovely as the last people on Earth, but a story that keeps reminding us that human connection is the most important thing should remember that showing our heroes affectionately bonking gas masks is a little short on intimacy.

Truthfully, it’s a little short on story too. It’s retreading a very familiar path without engendering a single original idea. It was uninspiring enough that I felt myself embracing the apocalypse and actually wondering what the others were doing up on IO. It can’t possibly be as dull or as dusty as life on Earth.

The good news is, it’s on Netflix, streaming for “free” since you already have a subscription. So even a mild or passing interest can be indulged with no harm done. Temper those hot-air-balloon-sized expectations and instead anticipate something more akin to a birthday balloon, three days after the party.

17 thoughts on “IO

  1. Widdershins

    Apart from the fact that Io is THE most inhospitable moon orbiting Jupiter, and the gravimetric forces surrounding it would rip any colony orbiting it to shreds, this movie was a dull as dirty dishwater, and hey, who would’ve guessed that ending!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. D. Wallace Peach

    I agree that the movie was a little flat. I watched this last night and ended up playing games on my phone at the same time. It just didn’t grip me. Probably because I’d be a little more intense about getting out of there than philosophizing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. mywifeisablackbelt

    Just watched the Netflix trailer yesterday and thought this movie looked a bit dull (even though I’m a big fan of sci fi and I don’t mind a movie being “slow” but there’s got to be something in it to maintain interest)…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. selizabryangmailcom

    Lol. We just watched it last night too and almost fell asleep. Apart from the inaccurate *scientific* blather that had my husband immediately guffawing with contempt (similar to what Widder was saying above) top question on our minds: The title. IO. It wasn’t about IO at all! It was about this woman and her father and their steely reluctance to let go of Earth.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. J.

    Saw the trailer for this last night and, as someone already mentioned, I thought โ€œoh, itโ€™s Z for Zachariah with space and no โ€˜third wheelโ€™โ€. Iโ€™ll maybe watch it… maybe no.

    Liked by 1 person


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