“LX 2048” – A Monotonous Character Study in An Alluring World

LX 2048 presents viewers with a world that is ripe with potential, making it easy to start off on the right foot for viewers. However, it soon loses a good amount of momentum, due to the direction it decides to take.

Science fiction seems to be a genre that becomes more realistic with every passing day. With how far technology has advanced in recent years, it seems like what was once fiction of the past has now become a part of normal life. This has led to some trying to re-invent the genre, making it less about what could exist far off in the future and more about what humans are capable of with things that could come into existence sooner rather than later. One such project is Guy Moshe’s North American film debut, LX 2048.

Releasing on VOD Sept. 25, the film presents viewers with a world that is ripe with potential, making it easy to start off on the right foot for viewers. However, it soon loses a good amount of momentum, due to the direction it decides to take. That is not to say it is completely disappointing; in fact, some parts of the film are quite memorable and worth discussing. Nevertheless, despite its strengths, LX 2048 feels like it tries to relay conventional messages in a way that clashes with the promising environment and seemingly intriguing premise.

LX 2048

LX 2048 introduces us to a world where cloning and accessible virtual reality has become the new normal and climate change has worsened to the point where going out in daylight can be fatal. Adam Bird (James D’Arcy) has refrained from adapting to the times, being opposed to the constant use of technology at the cost of being disconnected from his wife, Reena (Anna Brewster), and his three sons. Living alone and becoming more irritated at a world going more artificial every day, Adam barely feels a connection with normal life anymore.

However, when he learns that he is terminally ill, he is determined to do all he can to provide a better life for his family before his time ends. In his efforts to do this though, Adam descends further into hysteria, questioning what his purpose is and if he can truly be happy in a world that does not feel real to him anymore.

Although the film does not have enough time to fully develop its overall setting, it does a great job of luring you in with the way it presents the world. The technology and activities shown within the movie do enough to clue you in on how things function, and they all seem to work in ways that do not seem too disconnected from what could be. It feels uncomfortable since things look almost normal most of the time but in a good way; LX 2048 finds a solid balance between fiction and reality with how its world is designed and explained to its audience.

LX 2048

Additionally, the film itself has a powerful lead-in, James D’Arcy. Considering that Adam as a character has quite a lot to deal with throughout the runtime, from his terminal illness to his estranged family to his world’s constant obsession with technology, and D’Arcy manages to convey those constant pressures almost flawlessly. His descent into madness is both believable and tragic, and although he does show himself to be unlikeable at times, you can empathize with him and understand why he is acting the way he is.

The supporting actors also do a decent job whenever they appear on-screen. Delroy Lindo as the disgraced scientist Donald Stein acts as a very insightful if disillusioned mentor to Adam and Lindo embodies this archetype without any issues. As for Reena herself, Anna Brewster does a solid job of showing how much Adam has hurt his family, showing how much she used to trust him while also doing a great job of revealing how much she has gone through because of Adam’s actions. Without going into too many spoilers, you will definitely understand how Adam got himself into such a large mess by the end of the movie.

LX 2048

Additionally, I enjoyed the personal feel the story had to it. The whole story felt like it was very intimate throughout, and it felt like I was watching a new take on what science fiction could be used for. It combined current issues and a futuristic world in a way that felt like something I had not seen in a long time, and I enjoyed the ways LX 2048 presented its world. By making Adam’s familial life the focus of the film, it feels like the movie grounds itself more than other kinds of sci-fi projects. The themes of family, virtual reality, and how much evolving technology can affect relationships is one that will hit viewers hard, regardless of how familiar they are with this genre.

Unfortunately, these praises do not save LX 2048 from the several issues it faces. The film often feels like it is throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, and some plot elements feel as if they add up to nothing. One of the biggest aspects of the world LX 2048 sets up is that exposure to the sun has now become dangerous, to the point that people have to wear hazmat suits in order to get from one place to another.

However, outside of a handful of shots, this does not really factor into the plot itself; I honestly forgot that this was a condition that existed in this world until it was used as an excuse for Adam to miss work in one scene. This, along with other points in the film, feels like it was only added in order to make the world seem more dystopian on a surface level, without giving it actual influence in how the story plays out. Things would have gone pretty much the same way had this not been a feature of the world.

Additionally, the movie itself feels like it is split between two different kinds of stories as it progresses. On the one hand, you have Adam wanting to save his family, but on the other, you have him slowly descending into madness. The latter idea takes most of the focus as the film progresses, while the former is treated as an afterthought most of the time. The film sets itself up to have Adam go on an actual journey in order to have his external goal reached, but instead of pursuing that, it introduces his internal struggles and hones in on them without proper respect for what initially set him on his journey, to begin with.

LX 2048

However, my biggest issue with LX 2048 is how it feels like it is trying too hard to be profound at times. There are several occasions in the film where characters will go into huge monologues that attempt to be philosophical and deep. In reality, these moments feel incredibly pretentious, alienating, and unsubtle. It feels as if the film’s writer did not trust its audience enough to see what the film was subconsciously telling them, and thought it necessary to spell it out for them. These moments make the movie feel like an attempt to create a feature-length episode of Black Mirror, and a poor one at that. As such, they take the goodwill that it has built up before these points and almost completely diminishes it.

LX 2048

LX 2048 feels as if it got too cocky with its interesting foundation and tried reaching outside of what it was capable of succeeding in. While its acting is impressive and it presents interesting ideas, it often fumbles with the delivery of those messages, coming off as pretentious in the process. It is not without merit, so I cannot fully say to avoid it. However, it may offer little to veterans of the science-fiction genre. Rather than proving it can make the most of its time, LX 2048 feels like it loses its purpose by the end, leaving viewers wanting more from it in the worst way possible.

What do you think of LX 2048? Is it worth your time, or did you skip this flick? Alternatively, has this review piqued your interest in the movie? Let us know! Send us a tweet on Twitter or DM us on Instagram!

For more news on upcoming films, make sure to keep it locked right here at The Nerdy Basement. Consider supporting us on Patreon as well! It’s a surefire way to help us provide you with more Nerdy News!