Goodbye World (2013)
James and Lily live off the grid, raising their young daughter in a cocoon of comfort and sustainability. When a mysterious mass text ripples its way across the country, triggering a crippling, apocalyptic cyber attack, their home transitions from sheltered modern oasis to a fortress for the estranged old friends that show up at their door for protection and community. The unexpected reunion–abundant with revelry and remembrances, generously enhanced by organic wine and weed–is quickly undermined by the slights of the past, the spark of lingering flirtations and the threat of a locally grown new world order.
Genre : SF//Drama
Country : US
Caroline Dhavernas : Becky Snyder
Adrian Grenier : James Palmer
Kerry Bishé : Lily Palmer
Ben McKenzie : Nick Randworth
If I ever have to experience an apocalypse during my brief existence here on earth, I hope it’s one that takes the form as shown here in “Goodbye World“. The apocalypse, which was triggered by a rapidly spreading virus in a text message, looks pretty harmless. A few fragments of a panicking and rebellious population. Actually these are images that we get to see everyday in the media. In the distance you can see a huge cloud of smoke. Then two lost soldiers show up who supposedly want to set up a base camp and there is a commune in the vicinity who claim the right to get some medicines. It’s rather the relationships between the key players that are apocalyptic. It looks like this movie is the final year assignment from “The Philosophers“, applied in practice.
“Goodbye World” is actually about a reunion of some 30’ers who grew up together but eventually all went their own way. James (Adrian Grenier) and Lilly (Kerry Bishe) are two modern hippies who anticipated that such a global catastrophe would happen and have withdrawn themselves, along with their lovely daughter Hannah, somewhere in the mountains and build a kind of eco-house. An ordinary house with enough stock, medicine, horticulture and energy facilities. The day that the text message “Goodbye World” is sent around the world and a global cyber attack begins so all telephone communications, data communications and electricity supplies fail, Nick (Ben McKenzie) and Becky (Caroline Dhavernas) arrive. Nick is a former business associate of James and had a relationship with Lilly in the past. They also welcome the following old friends : Benji, a radical who did some time in prison for arson and in the meantime gives spirited lectures, Ariel (a sort of groupie of Benji) accompanies him, Laura is an associate in politics and apparently had a sex scandal with some senator and Lev is an intellectual computer expert who could well be the cause of this global cyber attack.
Everything starts in a relaxed and friendly way. It looks like an ordinary reunion with quite a bit of drinking during dinner, while raking up old memories. Also, it seems as if they are constantly making use of the home-grown marijuana out of the greenhouse. At times it seems like everyone is looking high after smoking cannabis. After a while tempers start to rise and the mutual conversations become snappy and razor sharp. Everyone is starting to realize that the other changed over time in a certain way and the opinions are no longer synchronized. Eventually we end up in a cacophony of endless drivel and philosophizing about political opinions and personal issues.
I found it strange that despite the fact that there is apparently a society falling apart, a motorcycle gang has taken over the local grocery store and charge abnormally high prices, plus two soldiers show up waving their weapons frightfully around and use threatening language, they nevertheless spend their time in a hot tub in the garden and chat about the growth of hair on a testicle. The apocalypse that is going on at that time, suddenly seems a banal and trivial event. I could not get rid of the impression that a cyber attack will not be the cause of our world going down, but rather the terrible navel-gazing and the enlargement of personal issues of some narcissistic individuals will do it.
“Goodbye World” is roughly not more than a boring movie with lots of discussions and a conflict that is more situated in the restricted group than in society itself. There is a grand total of five minutes of action in the whole movie, so little toothpicks for the eyes can be useful and necessary.