We live in the continuing roulette of Netflix shovelling out premises with algorithm friendly, easily discussable hooks. In that vein here’s a Poundland edition of Bird Box.
A post-apocalyptic future in which society has lost the ability to sleep. Gina Rodriguez leads her family in search of the supposed haven that allows those within to get a good night sleep Bird Box was never that great, to begin with. It got traction exclusively based on the stupidity of the meme challenges around it. It has one of the most obvious endings in human history. I’ve seen a disabled critic argued the ending as empowering. While this is fair it doesn’t make the final reveal any less apparent five minutes in. Put Bird Box next to something like Awake. It makes the former film look like the Quiet Place franchise.
Similarities to the former film are not only in the very internet-friendly premise. It’s also the way the initial apocalypse scenes are staged, plot structure and tone of various set-piece sequences among other things. The thing is that looking at the two films in a vacuum Bird Box was at least aiming for some air of legitimacy. You could at least try and divorce it from the idiots putting on blindfolds and risking their lives to capitalize on its virality Awake is just looking to ride the coattails of a potential meme until audiences move on to the next disposable Netflix film.
The cast does sport a couple of recognisable faces. Unfortunately, they’ve all saddled with a script the teachers on the edge between embarrassingly leaden and so bad it’s hilarious. It belongs in the bargain bin. Granted Finn Jones presence was never going to elevate anything. The mild whiff of his Danny Rand embarrassment still clings to his career This makes any time he tries to adopt serious delivery inherently hilarious and immediately brings forward unwanted flashback for those that have sat through Iron Fist. Gina Rodriguez and Jennifer Jason Leigh have been solid in other things. That said they are far too good for this stinker. Netflix does have some gems in their back catalogue over original films. However, when audiences think of the insanely varied to below-average quality of their meat factory Esque production line things like Awake will be what comes to mind.