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Breathe (2024): A Mother-Daughter Sci-Fi Thriller that Sometimes Runs Out of Air

A heart-pounding thriller set in the future. After Earth is left uninhabitable due to lack of oxygen, a mother Maya (Hudson), and her daughter Zora (Wallis) are forced to live underground, with trips to the surface only made possible by a coveted state-of-the-art oxygen suit made by Maya's husband, Darius, whom she presumes to be dead. When a mysterious couple arrives that claims to know Darius and his fate, Maya agrees to let them into their bunker but these visitors are not who they claim to be resulting in a mother and daughter fighting for their survival.




Netflix's "Breathe" is the latest in a long line of post-apocalyptic thrillers, but this one has a twist: the air is gone. That's right, Earth has become a giant planet-sized vacuum cleaner bag. Now, if you thought recycling was hard, try living underground and rationing oxygen. It's like a cross between "Mad Max" and those days when you forget to take your inhaler. But does "Breathe" leave us gasping for more or reaching for the remote? Let's dive in and find out.


The film follows Maya (Jennifer Hudson) and her daughter Zora (Quvenzhané Wallis) as they navigate this brave new world where trips to the surface require a futuristic oxygen suit. You know, like a hazmat suit, but with more LED lights and way cooler boots. Maya's husband, Darius, designed the suit, but he’s presumed dead. Now, you’d think that might be a deal-breaker for someone in need of an air supplier, but not Maya. She’s the type of mother who doesn't let a little thing like "the air is unbreathable" stop her from keeping her family safe.


The tension ramps up when a mysterious couple, played by Milla Jovovich and some other dude you will recognize who looks like he’s stepped off a set of another big budget sci-fi movie, show up claiming to know about Darius's fate. Maya, perhaps fueled by a mix of desperation and a lack of oxygen, lets them into their bunker, and that's when things go south. I won't spoil the details, but let's just say that double-crossing is the new handshake in this movie.


There’s a lot to like here. First, it's a new sci-fi story, and I always appreciate fresh takes on the genre even if there were plot holes the size of the moon in the story. Plus, Milla Jovovich is a pro at apocalyptic roles, and she brings her A-game, looking like she's ready to kick butt at any moment. And oh, the double-crosses! They're everywhere. It's like nobody in this film has ever heard of loyalty or trust. It keeps you on your toes, wondering who's going to turn on whom next.


But there are some drawbacks. The slow burn is real. This movie takes its sweet time building tension, and while that can be great for atmosphere, it sometimes feels like you're waiting for something, anything, to happen. By the time the action picks up, you're wondering if you should've gone for a snack break.


And the ending—well, let's just say it's not great. I won't spoil it, but it's one of those finales that makes you go, "Really? That's how they are wrapping up this story?" It leaves you with more questions than answers, and not in a good way. Like, “Did I really just spend two hours for this?” kind of way.


Overall, "Breathe" has its moments, but it doesn’t quite reach the thrilling heights it aspires to. The concept is interesting, the performances are adequate, and the double-crosses are fun. But the slow pacing and disappointing ending hold it back from being a standout in the sci-fi genre.


My final rating? 6.0/10. It’s worth a watch if you like post-apocalyptic thrillers and don’t mind a bit of a slow burn. Just don't expect a mind-blowing ending or groundbreaking storytelling.




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