Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Length: 1h 38min
Premise: A college professor who is actually a very old Cro-Magnon man gains suspicion from his students.
As I’m writing these sentences, listening to the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, a great and utter sadness tortures me. This is the fourth phase of grief, the first part of depression. I’m still waiting for the last phase, which is acceptance, but I’m afraid my waiting is in vain, considering Richard Schenkman’s and Emerson Bixby’s attempts to blaspheme The Man from Earth with every tool they have. Let me invite you to The Man from Earth’s museum of destruction, which awaits for all movies that fall in the hands of incompetent crews who try to cut as many slices off of the cake as many they can…(I seriously recommend watching the first film before reading this review.)
Before dropping deep in the pisswater of commercialism, let me ask you a question. What made the first part of The Man from Earth so great? The fast-paced, blood rushing action scenes? No. The Director’s personal video recruiting crowd-funders for a third movie and a TV show at the start and end of the movie? Don’t think so. The whole variety of locations it was filmed at? Nope. The annoying teenagers who act like they are in a romantic comedy? Maybe the idiotic storyline? Hell no. But these are what made the Holocene so freaking bad. There is no single thing I could mention about the second part that I liked even a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, there are worse movies. But the biggest sin of this one is that it literally insults the first part, trying to poison our memory of it. And please bear with me on this one for I think the first part is one of the best movies ever made and definitely the best low-budget movie I have ever seen.
American short story writer Jerome Bixby started writing The Man from Earth’s script in the early 1960s and completed it on his deathbed in 1998. Yeah, you read it well. Bixby worked on it for almost 40 years. Nearly ten years after his death Richard Schenkman directed the first part out of his work which became a huge success. The movie was pure genius. Eight people talking in a room. One suggests that he is a Cro-Magnon man who is around 14000 years old, somehow not dying. The others are scientists from different fields, trying to guess him wrong. Astonishing, intellectual and a true gem of the movie industry, which showed us that we don’t need the most expensive cameras, equipment, actors and locations to make something magnificent.
But huge success comes with a thrive for success. So what happened? Emerson Bixby, the son of Jerome Bixby thought his father’s blood and intellectuality runs in his veins too, so he partnered up with Schenkman trying to continue the story of John Oldman. This came out to be a huge mistake. The Man from Earth: Holocene is an abomination and a disgrace that should’ve never been brought to life. I mean, come on. John Oldman had the habit of changing cities every 10 years or so for Fourteen thousand years. Guess what. He made up his mind and decided to settle now. After all, habits as old as this one break easily right? Oh yeah, and he started to age as well. Because he did that’s why.
This franchise is not about John Oldman, and his friends anymore. It’s not about the intellectual ideologies and beautiful storytelling. It became a meme, a marketing campaign for the crew’s financial welfare. A childish satire of its old self, featuring primitive teenagers, religious extremism and an old, boring Oldman. This is not a pun, I’m angry. Art Jenkins, who was the perfect connection with reality in the first film, asking the questions we all wanted to ask. Schenkman and Emerson completely misunderstood the whole concept of The Man from Earth and made Art the antagonist of Holocene as an old, lonely, broken scientist, who committed carrier suicide because of accusing John with immortality. Pure stupidity. Art is not the antagonist here. “The mortality of other humans” and “The immortality of John Oldman” as such are the antagonists. These were the problems our protagonist had to deal with. And the antagonist that this beautiful “franchise” has to fight? It’s greed.
Similar Movies: The Man From Earth: Holocene (2017)…(well, similar in the title)
“You’re television incarnate, Diana: Indifferent to suffering; insensitive to joy.”