Bad Science Fiction Films: Love (2011)

Low-budget science fiction films. Ever watch them? It seems like I have a strange addiction to them. (Spoiler alert: I’m about to describe the whole plot of this movie.)

Love (2011) – Weird name, weirder ending. The shared trait of all bad science fiction movies is that they end badly. That said, they almost all start out very intriguing. You get through the first half, and you start holding your breath. They’ve taken some turns you’re not sure of; but it could still come through. And then, as you hit the three-quarter mark, the denial finally begins to lose ground and you realize: this isn’t going to end well, is it?

Love was one of those films. It starts with a Civil War scene, some very nice prose voiced over a gritty battle scene in a believable, dry voice.

Then we’re in the International Space Station. You know it’s low budget because the guy is in regular gravity. (They didn’t have to exacerbate this by having him do push-ups. But whatever. I could have gotten over it.)

Then some kind of nuclear holocaust hits earth — apparently — and the guy is stranded at the space station. Now we’re in Tom Hanks’ turf in Castaway. But it’s still a pretty gripping film.

Weirdly the astronaut discovers the journal of that Civil War soldier somewhere in the space station. (Second suspension of disbelief.) Back on earth,during the Civil War, something was found in a crater not far from a battlefield, but the soldier didn’t say what. The astronaut nearly flips out over this silence.

Finally, after five years of near-insanity, the astronaut decides to plunge to earth. Then, at the last minute he decides not to (still running with the Castaway plot here).

We see him with long hair and beard, crazy as a hermit. The computer kicks on, incoming transmission. Docking sequence initiated. Somebody’s coming …

And then–NO! The bad science fiction move I’ve come to know and expect. A sinking feeling creeps in. We’ve gone through a totally irrelevant new plot portal. Our astronaut is no longer long-haired and haggard, but young, and … what? inside a school? And then inside a computer room with a book of human stories … Huh? And somehow, I guess (?), the space station is what the Civil War soldier found in the crater? Or …? Why …?

But then I think we lowly viewers will get some redemption for our time: he’s heading through a wormhole or something. It’s almost Space Odyssey … Too soon (low budget after all) he’s standing on a platform and a bunch of people’s lives pass around him, and he starts to smile.

The end.

Thanks, bad SF movies. You keep disappointing me, and I keep coming back. Just when it looks like it’s going to work, you decide–too cliché. And then you go ape-wild into an unrelated something. And then you go to a different cliché.

Thanks.

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