Cinematic Releases: Leather Clad Motorcycle Mayhem: Future World (2018) Reviewed

James Franco

The future is a nasty place. From the post apocalyptic world of Mad Max to the flooded planet of Waterworld to the robotic death machines of The Terminator, we’ve been given hundreds of films that paint a dire picture where roving bands of survivors search for resources and battle for their lives. As a nearly satirical melting pot of those movies, Future World desperately lacks any heart. From mind crushingly bad action scenes to sad sack attempts at dramatic flair, Franco's latest is as bland as they come. This barely qualifies as bare bones straight to video dreck. 

James Franco and Milla Jovovich find themselves in a project that plays to dozens of genre tropes that fill 90 minutes of screen time with another story about a desolate Earth that is no longer a friendly home for humans. After technology has come to a screeching halt due to mankind’s near destruction, leather clad motorcycle bandits roam the wasteland in a predictable flick that borrows way too heavily from its obvious influences. When a young man named Prince and his (totally wooden) robotic counterpart seek solace, Future World finds new and unique ways to become jarringly stupid. As soulless as they come, we may have found the worst movie of 2018. Replete with synthy score, Fury Road-esque chase sequences, lame fight scenes and strangely placed homosexual themes, Franco is showing signs of directorial burnout at a time when he should be enjoying his successes. 

I can smell this movie. 

Armed to the teeth with an eclectic cast that features Franco as the main baddie, Milla Jovovich in another terrible lead, Snoop Dog, Method Man, and an underutilized Lucy Liu, this is George Miller lite as the world of the future is a cliche ridden non-spectacle that revels in unoriginality. Taking the director reins again, this is a sad shock after Franco’s The Disaster Artist. With a lead narrative that feels like Sarah Connor on NyQuil, it’s shocking that this thing even got picked up by Amazon. Also released in limited theaters this weekend, Future World is a pure disaster that should have been pulled from any type of release. There is nothing here to latch onto. Most science fiction fans are looking for something new or original. Sadly enough, the main players here make the stars of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets look like revelatory Oscar winners.  Awkward doesn't even begin to define what happens in Future World. 

If you want to spend your time watching something that barely qualifies as baseline human on human apocalypse warfare, you might give this a shot, but I was shocked and saddened that Franco would come anywhere near something so horrid, it's truly not even watchable. Centered on a script that seems like they just stole their favorite scenes from other movies, Future World feels like the Turkish rip-off of Mad Max or any other varied flick about people fighting against each other in a ravaged landscape. I cannot suggest against this one enough. 

This tries to be smart by mixing Western themes with science fiction and the post apocalypse. It simply does not work.