Future World is a 2018 movie by and with James Franco, set in an unspecified period after an apocalypse brought humanity back to barbarism.
Away from the violence of crime wasteland, a young boy grows and lives in a green oasis of peace and tranquility.
However, he leaves the small community searching for medicine when his mother becomes seriously ill.
This journey will take him and his trusted friends to a sinful lawless town ruled by a ruthless warlord.
The crazy criminal finds an ancient female-looking warrior-robot model, finding a way to command her.
With this beautiful and deadly machine by his side, his gang has quickly become unstoppable.
He captures the boy and kills his friends, forcing him to reveal the location of his fantastic oasis.
But along the way, the humanoid girl rebels and decides to fight alongside the weakest guy.
At that point, they set off searching for the legendary Paradise Beach, Where, according to the myth, doctors still exist.
In this manner, the young prince thinks he can cure his mother, the last queen of the oasis.
But unfortunately, Paradise Beach will turn out to be very different from their expectations.
Indeed, the place has become as dangerous as the wastelands, with an evil matron and doctor in charge.
They have no choice, stuck with their backs to the wall with the furious warlord at their heels.
To get out of that hellhole of madness alive, they’ll have to go insane and fight to the death with the wasteland’s criminals.
An already seen future, but still effective
Future World is fast-paced post-apocalyptic action, clearly inspired by the more famous Mad Max.
Of course, it is not easy to reach the level of cinema and imagination of George Miller‘s saga, especially in spectacular action scenes.
Many directors tried over the years, but few have succeeded, such as the famous and violent manga Fist of the North Star.
But in this case, if nothing else, we can at least say that we are dealing with an enjoyable and appreciable imitation.
The madness in the look and dialogue of the characters is convincingly staged; creating a small but exciting ecosystem of survivors between victims and predators.
As mentioned, the action scenes are few and far from the visual magic of Mad Max; but we have fist and knife fights also adding several quite bloody and violent motorcycle chases.
The addition of the robot girl is a delightful idea, but, unfortunately, I think it lacks a compelling background to fit well into the story.
There is not much information about her origins other than a brief introduction during her initial kidnapping and enslavement.
Even his psychological change of course by which he switches factions is perhaps too quick; lacking that little evolution to be exciting and justified.
I do not deny that her relationship with the innocent boy has its charisma; developing a somewhat believable relationship despite the narrative speed.
Sometimes, some films get lost in unnecessary long-windedness; instead, I think 2018’s Future World also needed an extra half hour to better mix the elements.
However, even as it is, it remains an excellent example of a post-apocalyptic dystopia; for a self-contained story that does not leave much room for possible sequels.
The cruelest of movies by James Franco
The greatest strength of this 2018 movie is in the cast of young, charming, and aggressive actors who populate this future world.
James Franco is a perfect villain who pushes other characters into a corner; always looking for villages to raid to increase his glory and power.
His madness needs no great explanation; he is simply a man with delusions of dominance and a sadistic penchant for violence.
Completely opposite, Jeff Wahlberg is instead charming as the unassuming protagonist; a naive boy who finds the strength to become a man who fights for what he loves.
Too bad the character of his mother, who is the usual magnificent Lucy Liu; with only a few minutes in the beginning to sufficiently motivating her son’s journey.
The warrior is played by the beautiful Suki Waterhouse; conversely, we see her for much longer; but I had the impression of an actress who had the talent to give something more.
Of the various madmen of the wastelands, the one I loved the most was definitely the psychopathic doctor Milla Jovovich; indeed, if it were up to me, I might have set the movie up as a fight between her and James Franco.
James Franco himself handles the direction along with Bruce Thierry Cheung; making an action-adventure that, despite some flaws, I think unfairly went too unnoticed.
To sum up, it is a friendly low-budget production; to which I give credit for not claiming to be more than what it simply is.
So let’s enjoy what the movie really offers and take the machete out of the closet, preparing to fight in this future world of 2018.
And if you happen to be passing through Snoop Dogg‘s casino town, be careful about letting people know you have a gun.