2033: FUTURE APOCALYPSE
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
Marco Antonio Treviño
What's it about
In the (very) near future, a young man must rebel against the secular military state which has always provided him a very cushy life in order to save his thought-dead father, a rebel guilty of the crime of fighting for the practice of free religion.
Is it good movie?
2033 is clearly an allegory to the Cristero War in Mexico, in the late 20’s. Set in the absurdly near future, a secular military regime has risen to power and all but vanquished the practice of religion in the new state. They also push some supposedly nutritive elixir onto the populace. Father Miguel, here standing in for real life Christian revolutionary and ersatz saint Miguel Pro, infiltrates the state and attempts a coup from within, recruiting the help of Pablo, the would-be stepson of General Stam, the would-be recipient of the mantle of head of state. Pablo’s father is the thought-dead-but-really frozen Goros, supposedly a genius military strategist who can bring unity and efficacy to the floundering rebellion.
What 2033 isn’t is a good movie. Right from the get-go, the decision to set it less than a quarter of a century in the future, but then have the whole affair rife with Star Trek technology, doesn’t sit well with the viewer. Even when there is gunplay, the guns fire sonic blasts instead of bullets. What the thought process behind that nonsense was, I’ll never fathom. The TECPANOL subplot is yet more cliché sci-fi nonsense. The state is apparently pushing this as a panacea to cure all your ills, while it really dulls the mind and creates obedience in its drinkers. Yeah, never seen that before. It is also one of several subplots that the viewer is hammered over the head with, yet never actually goes anywhere or helps advance the story.
Even the subplot of rescuing Pablo’s father is mishandled. From the way Pablo reveres General Stam and shuns his mother, it is quite a surprise when 30-minutes into the film Pablo’s grandfather announces that Pablo’s father is still alive. Huh? Then Pablo hooks up with Miguel to rescue the now important Goros, and the movie can’t decide if Pablo is a drug-addicted spoiled brat or a revolutionary spirit with a heart of gold. It eventually decides on the latter, with little evidence to back up the change, including an affair between Pablo and fellow Father Miguel protégé Lucia, which equally develops out of thin air. We are then treated to an end that…simply ends. 93-minutes and the best they could do is have the rebel force retreat into the woods promising to come back and fight again some day. Sigh.
I read online that having 33 in the title is a reference to 33rd Degree Freemasons, long thought to be Satanists and a gateway to the ludicrously fictional Illuminati. While that seems a bit of a reach, it would explain the specific year chosen for the story, a year that is not nearly far enough into the future to explain the incredibly advanced technology on view. The film is a snoozer either way, so who cares?
Video / Audio
Video: The DVD doesn’t boast any stats, but it is widescreen and relatively free of grain, even if the colors are a little soft. Just because you can bleach-bypass doesn’t mean you should.
Audio: Spanish with optional English subtitles. If only the maudlin score was optional as well.
Not much. A one-minute slideshow of publicity stills, and a nearly six-minute slideshow of covers of other Cinema Epoch releases. Woot.
Regardless of allegory to historical events, commentary on the separation of church and state, or references to Draconian secret societies with world-dominating agendas, 2033 is above all contrived and boring. The script is clunky and the plot progression awkward. While the special effects are decent and the actors all do their bits, the film never gels and never holds viewer attention. Avoid.