Making a film about the end of the world that stands out among the direct-to-video fare can be a challenging objective. With the basic nuts and bolts usually built into most of those stories, I.E. mankind us extinct because of our destructive nature, it’s the plot lines built around that element that matter. In other words, the next step in these films is usually what either makes or breaks it and this is the point most of them fall apart.
With the extinction of the human race, protocols in the form of a droid named Mother (Rose Byrne) were set up to insure the species survival. Mother has made a human child who she raises and teaches how to be a better human in order to repopulate the species. As the child grows up, Mother simply refers to her as Daughter (Clara Rugaard). Eventually, the now teen’s curiosity about the outside world grows to the point where she wants to venture out in it. When she finally gets the courage to do so, she runs into a Woman (Hilary Swank), who is seeking help after being injured. Daughter doesn’t know what to do at first, since she was supposed to be the only human left alive, but her instinct kicks in and she brings the Woman in, but hides her from Mother. Soon though she can no longer hide her, but the Woman fears Mother’s kind, insisting that they are the cause of the destruction of the world and that Mother is not to be trusted. At first Daughter doesn’t believe what she is being told, but soon she starts to question the answers she has been given and has to make a choice on just what her next move will be.
Written by Michael Lloyd Green and Grant Sputore, the later also directing must be ecstatic that their script after living on Black List has finally made it to the screen. The story and set up is on the minimal side, instead having you focus on what you are seeing, then having you follow the twist and turns as they develop. The film takes place pretty much in one location, with a cast that never exceeds three, two humans and one droid for what that’s worth. I Am Mother might have been one of the hotter scripts not produced, but it never translates that with the finished product. Instead it just comes off as ordinary, something that was better on the page than after being fully developed . More times than not it feels slow and never really gains the momentum to keep you fully invested. What does keep you tuned in though is the cast, all who are fantastic. I really wanted to like this movie, but after it was over I just felt indifferent about what I just saw. Still, I am glad Netflix is making movies like this and even though I Am Mother is not top notch entertainment, it is better than a lot of things you will see, some sadly even in theaters, and that at least means something right?