About a decade after the events of the first film, John Oldman (David Lee Smith) is now living under the alias of John Young with Caroline (Vanessa Williams) and teaches history of religions in Chicago. Four of John’s students get to know about John’s secret somehow and are themselves entangled in a conflict regarding the feasibility of John’s past as well as the forthcoming actions that they need to take.
How did these students find out John’s secret? What are they planning to do? How will John get away with what’s imminent for him?
Positive Points: –
- Holocene is an excellent follow up of its predecessor and is proficiently made keeping a lot of minute things in mind which add sense to its premise.
- David Lee Smith’s matured and insightful performance as the protagonist.
- The dynamicity of the film as opposed to the original and its built up as a sci-fi mystery thriller instead of a sci-fi drama.
- It’s absorbing and well restricted in a stipulated time length.
Negative Points: –
- One has to understand that making a movie like this with such deep philosophical implications and the potential to hurt religious sentiments isn’t a nuts’ job. Jerome Bixby took almost 30 years to write the screenplay of The Man From Earth to render it perfect and the fact that his son Emerson had much much lesser time to draft the screenplay of the sequel explains the imperfections this film has in terms of its paper-work.
- The young actors were good but their struggle and efforts were quite visible on their very faces at times. I donot blame them though because movies like these aren’t really easy to execute both for the makers and the actors.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
Richard Schenkman has done a pretty appreciable job with Holocene and has maintained the intense atmosphere and the surrounding mystery immaculately. However, there are a few flaws in his execution probably because of the lack of explanation that’s given about the happenings in the film; for example the students barging into John’s house in his absence (without breaking any lock), them taking his photographs in his sleep, etc. Emerson Bixby’s screenplay is smart and a good follow-up to The Man From Earth. The premise has its share of thrill and suspense and captures the downsides of religious fascism sublimely just like its predecessor. Nevertheless, the writing has some imperfections and is less logical in comparison to the original. There are lot of questions that Emerson leaves unanswered regarding John’s life just after the events of The Man From Earth and that includes his relationship with Caroline. Moreover, the ending might not really jive with the generic audience though it’s a very good one keeping in mind the upcoming sequel of the series.
Richard J. Vialet’s cinematography is top notch and there are some really well shot sequences. Bobby K. Richardson’s editing is tight. Mark Hinton Stewart’s score is terrific and matches well with the film’s tone.
Of the four students, Brittany Curan and Carlos Knight are good, Sterling Knight has his share of good and not-so-good moments, Akemi Look is superb.
Michael Dorn and Vanessa Williams make some important short appearances. William Kat is terrific and does a good follow-up of his character from the original film.
David Lee Smith is captivating, magnetic and terrific as John and conveys both the conflicts and the maturity of his character effortlessly. He performs with a deep insight regarding his character’s mental state and emotes flawlessly. It’s a shame that an actor of his calibre was never given the opportunity that he deserved in the film industry.
Final Verdict: –
I know it’s flawed as contrary to its predecessor but I gotta admit that The Man From Earth: Holocene exceeded my expectations. I never really expected any sequel to The Man From Earth because no movie could really justify its excellence and was skeptical of this film when it was first announced. Not only did Holocene surprise me but kept me enthralled with its smart writing and direction, excellent technical work and ofcourse Smith’s performance. I just can’t wait for it sequel to come out.
PS: The makers of The Man From Earth: Holocene have made the availability of the movie quite easy by legally uploading the torrent files over internet so that people have a free access to it. However, as understood, making the film wasn’t without any monetary expenditure and these guys need your support to make up for the film’s production as well as to start the production of its sequel. So it’s an earnest request to people to donate as much as they wish to, in the site manfromearth.com and support the entire team for their work.