Cinematic Releases: The Future Is A.I.: 2036 Origin Unknown

Katee Sackhoff
Katee Sackhoff stars in the new science fiction thriller, 2036 Origin Unknown.

Stepping off last year's low budget science fiction piece The Beyond, science fiction director Hasraf Dulull returns to the otherworldly with his latest visual feast, 2036 Origin Unknown

Hitting on many repeated tropes of the evolution of ever expanding artificial intelligence and man's need to explore (and destroy), Dulull's latest piece isn't as whip smart as his last, but definitely satisfies the thirst for smarter genre motion pictures that don't need hundreds of millions of dollars behind them. Coming from a long running background in visual effects work, Haz knows how to work within the confines of his budgetary means to make beautiful looking environments and scenes that don't take away from the story at hand. 

2036 Origin Unknown
My god, it's full of stars. 

When a Mars mission is tragically lost, things become quite mysterious as a floating cube that can transcend space and time is potentially to blame. Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica) is challenged with the task of assisting an A.I. unit named A.R.T.I. to further investigate the surface of Mars remotely. What she eventually uncovers is more dire than she could have ever imagined as Dulull visits that old tentpole of artificial beings potentially being the end of man. As a repetitive theme that we've seen so many times, Dulull revels in the dramatic balancing act between humans instead of beating us over the head with too many long winded discussions about how computers will be our downfall. 

Finally giving Sackhoff room to expand as a lead player is honestly the best part of the film. Drawing an emotive performance from her that feels hyper realistic is potentially the greatest feature of 2036. When the story comes to its head, she offers herself up for some truly nail biting sequences that show her audience exactly what she can do as an actress. Luckily for all involved, she's expanded her skillset to the point she can carry a full ninety minutes with almost no one else around her. 

Katee Sackhoff
Danger, Will Robinson!

Where this film struggles is in separating the plot from so many other movies that have gone down similar paths as this. Yet, he completely succeeds in creating a visually arresting cinematic journey that often feels like a stage play transposed to the screen. With a limited cast that features only four main characters (one of them robotic), some might be reminded of the confines of Moon mixed with humanitarian questions of Interstellar intertwined with minor callbacks to The Matrix. Some might dismiss areas of his project as too familiar, but most good science fiction definitely borrows or features elements from stories or movies that have inspired them. 

If you're looking for some claustrophobic sci-fi that's a good bead of fun for a Saturday night, check this one out. Don't go in expecting the second coming of 2001 and don't think you're getting another Interstellar. But do know there are some great story points here that fans of the genre can definitely latch on to.