RUBIKON (2022) 13 reviews of sci-fi disaster movie plus a clip

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‘Take a deep breath. It is your last’
Rubikon is a 2022 Austrian science fiction disaster film about a catastrophe on Earth which leaves the planet covered in a toxic fog. The crew of an orbiting space station must decide whether to risk their lives to get home and search for survivors, or stay safe in the station’s “algae symbiosis system”.

Directed by Magdalena Lauritsch (shorts: We Deliver a Smile; Clinch; Rote Flecken), making her feature film debut, from a screenplay co-written with Jessica Lind. Elisabeth Schmied was the story consultant. Produced by Klaus Graf, Loredana Rehekampff and Andreas Schmied.

The Samsara Filmproduktion-Graf Film production stars Julia Franz Richter, George Blagden, Mark Ivanir, Nicholas Monu and Daniela Kong.

2056. A toxic cloud of pollution has swallowed the earth, killing untold numbers. The world’s nations have dissolved, with all power now left in the hands of a few giant corporations. The rich retreat to sealed biodomes while the poor choke and starve.

On the space station Rubikon, Hannah (Julia Franz Richter), Gavin (George Blagden), and Dimitri (Mark Ivanir) weigh the fate of the planet’s survivors. Should these crewmembers risk their own lives on a rescue mission to the surface, or ignore the old world to build a new one of safety and solitude, living off the station’s sophisticated algae symbiosis system?

Against the vast canvas of the cosmos, three people with different worldviews debate their moral responsibility to the species, all while grappling with the timely agony of isolation…

Rubikon does not build the sense of gravity it is striving for, but the premise is strong enough to keep most engaged. The ending also does not pack the emotional guy punch it should. For some reason, it end up feeling flat. It certainly feels like an ending; it is just not as satisfying as it should be.” AIPT

“It’s extra disappointing that the movie doesn’t deliver the dramatic goods because the production design is outstanding. A lot of effort clearly went into designing the sets and creating the visual effects. Lots of eye-popping shots exist in the film. The international cast is fine, too.” 2 out of 4, The Aisle Seat

“It initially seems like the stuff of riveting cinema, but “Rubikon” doesn’t have that type of dynamic appeal. It’s a small movie about interpersonal conflicts, and while the production provides accomplished visuals and capable performances, Lauritsch keeps her endeavor crawling along, with tension limited to just a handful of moments…”

“As much as I enjoy the concept and the setting and the implications, the writing for the characters is a bit sloppy. At times they will repeat statements or ask questions about something that was just resolved […] It’s a huge relief that thankfully the film ends in the best way possible. They don’t pull any cheap tricks or toss in some last-minute gimmick, they don’t go for the “safe” ending or peaceful resolution.” 7.5 out of 10, First Showing (KVIFF festival review)

“I was initially quite positive and expected a good story. However, by the end of its 1-hour and 50-minute runtime (which, yes, is too long), I was just irritated. With many elements. Some of which even hit on some extremely current topics and not in any good way […] I wanted to like this film, and did at first, only to ultimately be confronted with so many tropes and stereotypes.” Heaven of Horror

“Like Cryo last week, Rubikon is a claustrophobic sf offering that does not rely on explosive spectacle, but Lauritsch’s film is a much more polished and compelling viewing experience. It might be the end of the world, but actions and decisions still have consequences. Highly recommended for fans of brainy sf…” J.B. Spins

” …it contains good performances by its leading trio, and the aesthetics are top-notch. Even the CGI isn’t too bad for its low budget. Albeit, in Rubikon, that isn’t the case; it looks crisp and clear. The focus then needed to shift onto the screenplay. The writer had to take their time and ensure that it contained some fascinating storytelling paths.” Loud and Clear

“Some big ideas exist within the story of Rubikon. Some much bigger flaws of narrative, drama, and characterization guarantee that those ideas don’t amount to much, either.” 1.5 out of 4, Mark Reviews Movies

Rubikon is not overblown with heavy-handed action. Don’t watch this film expecting the theatrics of Gravity. The visual effects and production design create an honest realism that builds palpable tension. Class divisions come into play. The well-written characters have existential conflicts with a surprising outcome on several fronts.” Movieweb

“On a purely aesthetic level, Rubikon at least has stunning CGI effects and set designs that add plenty of style. Visual spectacle alone isn’t enough to hold the attention of audiences looking for a compelling narrative with interesting characters. The performances are decent, but there’s not enough strong material for the actors to rise above it.” NYC Cinema Guru

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In the US, IFC Films will release Rubikon theatrically and On-Demand on July 1, 2022.
In Austria, Rubikon will be released on September 15, 2022.


Cast and characters:
Julia Franz Richter … Hannah Wagner
George Blagden … Gavin Abbott
Mark Ivanir … Dimitri Krylow
Nicholas Monu … Philipp Jenson
Daniela Kong … Tracy Sato
Konstantin Frolov … Danilo Krylow
Hannah Rang … Knopf
Ljubisa Gruicic … Sergio
Jonas Gerzabek … Little Knopf
Stephanie Cannon … Esther’s voice

Filming locations:
2. Haidequerstraße 1-3, 1110 Vienna, Austria

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