Movie Review: Goodbye World with Adrian Grenier and Ben McKenzie

Goodbye World Movie Review
Kerry Bishe as Lily Palmer, Adrian Grenier as James Palmer, Ben McKenzie as Nick Randworth, Gaby Hoffmann as Laura Shepherd, Mark Webber as Benji Henry, McKenna Grace as Hannah Palmer, Scott Mescudi as Lev Berkowitz and Remy Nozik as Ariel in GOODBYE WORLD. (Photo Credit: Jeff Bollman / Samuel Goldwyn Films / Phase 4 Films)
Reviewed by Rebecca Murray
 
Goodbye World explores what happens when our wired-in world comes to a crashing halt following the delivery of a text message containing a virus. Which, upon reading that simple premise, sounds like a fascinating launching pad for a feature film. Unfortunately, Goodbye World takes that promising premise and dilutes it by centering the action on a group of friends who just aren’t all that interesting or engaging.
 
It only takes a few hours before the U.S. is thrown into complete chaos after “Goodbye World” appears on everyone’s cell phones. The virus takes down servers and rioting begins, with martial law declared and civilization as we know it basically collapsing. Grocers immediately up their prices, gas is at a premium, and supplies quickly begin to run out.
 
In the midst of all this madness, an eclectic group of friends make their way to Northern California where they seek shelter with a couple who just happen to already be living off the grid. Well stocked and prepared for a situation of this type, the group should be if not happy, then at least capable of surviving in relative comfort. But, no, these friends find numerous ways to pick each other apart, un-coupling and re-coupling as if the problems of the outside world aren’t disturbing enough.


These eight friends could emerge from the apocalypse, if that’s what this is, in relatively good shape but that’s not to be. Old grudges that had been festering surface, some members of this good-looking group can’t keep their hands off of their exes, and when major differences in ideology become more evident and important in conversations, the group’s downward spiral hits a point where lines are crossed and relationships torn apart that can never be mended.
 
Kerry Bishé, Caroline Dhavernas, Adrian Grenier, Gaby Hoffman, Ben McKenzie, Scott  Mescudi (Kid Cudi), Remy Nozik and Mark Webber star as the friends and their performances feel authentic. However, they’re hampered by a script that feels less than genuine, with stilted conversations between characters that just don’t flow naturally. Also, there’s not a character among the eight that gives the audience someone to latch onto and support through this harrowing, apocalyptic time.
 
The concept was there, however the set-up loses steam when all the attention turns to dinner conversations, a bizarre hip hop talent show, and predictable interactions with the outside world.
 
GRADE: C
 
Goodbye World was directed by Denis Henry Hennelly and opens in theaters on April 4, 2014.
 

 

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