Film analysis: The Man from Earth: Holocene

What can I say I loved the first movie, and it’s pretty hard to write about the second movie because there is a lot to say. First of all, if you haven’t seen the first or the second movie, just stop here, don’t click the link and don’t read the article because I do not want to spoiler someone with information which might ruin your movie experience.

Let’s start with some basics and we will also take a look into the future.

The Man from Earth Holocene

Intro

It’s hard for me to write about “Holocene” because the first movie was a masterpiece and it’s really really hard to release something after that because everyone expects that this also get automatically awesome, in this case, I have mixed feelings, the Movie was not bad but not as good as the first one – that’s for sure and I think every fan would agree in it. There is an open ending and the movie feels more like a start of a good TV episode.

The Story

the_man_from_earth-_holocene_still

Following ten years after the cult sci-fi favourite “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth”, 14,000 year-old John Oldman is now comfortably hiding in plain sight as a college professor in Northern California. But his existence comes crashing down when four students discover his deepest secret, putting his life in grave danger and potentially shaking mankind to its very soul.

What I think

Well, it could have been worse. I mean, how can you really continue a great short conversational story with a great twist ending, and that one already happened? Making another movie exactly like the first one? Or do we see a film from another perspective? Difficult questions.

I can see why they went with more action and a younger, more modern audience. The main premise of the direction the movie wants to take the sequel is reasonable – In the modern society of more and more cameras and online information, hiding and faking your identity will become harder and harder and I think everyone got that point.

The issue I have with the film is that, ultimately, it has a great concept of an immortal guy and doesn’t have an idea where actually to take it. There is no twist it can do to the audience. So they seem to have opted to make a movie which tries to test various concepts, to see what resonates with the audience, and to see what sticks.

What does the film can give us:

  • A strong religious/psycho angle
  • A modern teenage scooby doo gang solving mysteries
  • A nod back to the old actors and old friends
  • A mysterious FBI agent looking for him
  • I was very excited when I saw that Michael Dorn was going to be in this movie, but what a huge waste
  • A boring film with a weak beginning, something in the middle and a cliffhanger at the end.

I almost felt like at the end of the movie, someone will hand me a questionnaire to rank which aspects of the story I would like to see developed further. The ending itself, the first one, is too purposefully undefined, and I personally wish I stopped before the second ending twist, as for me it didn’t fit at all with the tone of the rest of the film.

What was the best screen in the movie?

Personally, I liked the basement scene! It’s the scene that felt really similar to the original film, with both of them having a discussion in one room. In the original, John is threatened with a gun by his son, and this one takes it even further than that, which I liked. Although at the end, maybe you could have just shown the broken chair and the blood, and then just left it at that. It would’ve been nice to wonder if John healed and escaped, or if John finally died due to his slow healing, etc

Why is the second movie garbage?

Horrible actors, horrible script and wired dialogues. That’s basically the movie in a nutshell. Do I say that I want exactly the same movie with John telling (again) his story in a room with other people – NO!  This movie was certainly not as strong as the first one. But if they had said, “John sitting in a room telling his story to sceptical colleagues worked great last time, let’s do it again!” It would be worse.

I appreciated the attempt. I’m intrigued to hear about his actually ageing process. I enjoyed the movie, even if not as much as the original. But it’s okay if others didn’t enjoy it because taste is subjective. Just don’t pretend like it would have been better if it had been like the first one! I guess that’s important here.

Do you still believe in the story?

I love the idea, I loved both movies even if I sound a bit harsh but that’s typically me I get very emotional when there is some discussion about things I like because it’s hard to stay objective and you get a little bit upset when you realize it could have done ‘better’. This is because you have some kind of relationship between the characters because you spend a lot of time watching (or even re-watching the movie several times [like me]) to understand every aspect and to get a better view on the details – Such a process automatically binds you emotional on a movie.

In my opinion, the story is good but the format itself is not good enough for a movie, I think a TV show in maybe a 45 min. format would help the community and the scriptwriter a lot, you could better plan the upcoming story.

What about Money?

I hope their experiment with funding works, and that they get enough viewer responses to make a series or something tackling the most interesting / voted for features. The movie is for free available on The PirateBay with an Intro/Outro that this experiment hopefully will succeed to get enough money to make another movie or TV show.

Conclusion

Every movie has it’s flaws so like “Holocene”, I definitely supported the makers because I donated and bought the film in the hope to see more. But at the same time, I was disappointed unfortunately, its sequel spends most of its time on the obnoxious students and their detective efforts, rather than continuing the cerebral discussion the first movie began.

I don’t want to see everything negative but it’s really difficult for me to find something good here, there some scenes which had potential which got wasted especially the basement scene but let’s end this quick analysis with something positive – We all hope to see more and we all hope that the third movie (or a start of a TV show?) brings us back the philosophical ground from the original movie. 🙂

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