Rating (1 out of 5)
Summary: An abysmal demonstration of what science fictions movies can offer to the audience. The characters aren’t sympathetic, the twists aren’t terribly good, and the film lacks any spirit. I don’t know how and why “2036 Origin Unknown” appear on Netflix? Who funded this stinker because they should be shunned from making any more movies forever!
Plot: Mackenzie “Mack” Wilson (Katee Sackhoff) is the mission control supervisor for the Mars artificial intelligence (AI) mission. The previous mission failed with her father aboard and her sister oversees the private corporation in charge of the mission. On Mars, they discover a signal, Origin Unknown and follow the clues of the mysterious box.
What I Liked: I can’t think of one redeeming feature of the film.
What I Didn’t Like: There are weird images where Mac seems to have visions of the AI/Cube in her head. However, these visions don’t link to anything in the film, therefore, the visions are useless.
A scene where Mac has an idea to save the current rover on Mars by using a battery from another rover. She takes control and guides the rover across the surface of Mars. Even by her own admission, having the AI guide the rover is the appropriate use of AI.
Mack argues with her sister about using the AI and lectures her on the accomplishment of humans. A hokey scene, attempting to spark the AI vs Human debate. Both scenes are examples of the terrible dialogue and poor storytelling.
Further, Mack isn’t amiable. She was disagreeable or abrupt to everyone. When you don’t have a likable lead, you don’t care what happens, which happened in “2036 Origin Unknown”. Mack should have been easier going when interacting with Arti (the AI) and they could have developed a friendship. A connection would allow for the final few scenes to bear more meaning to the audience than they did.