A MILLION DAYS (2023). Review by Steve Kirkham

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    A MILLION DAYS (2023)

    4 stars
    Signature Entertainment. Digital Platforms. 18th March
    The opening titles inform us it is 2041: the earth is in ecological collapse and our survival rests on interplanetary missions to take us off-world (you know, so we can screw up another planet – cynical, moi?). This type of exploration has been made possible because of the development of an artificial intelligence system known as Jay.
    Worryingly, though, after the credit roll we are shown a female astronaut Nazara (Nina Mahdavi) adrift in space, desperate and calling for help that doesn’t come.
    Cut to the remote home of Commander Anderson Reigel (Simon Merrells), who is about to lead the next flight into the void. Sam (Kemi-Bo Jacobs), his wife, was involved in developing the code which runs the AI and which makes decisions about the undertakings based on running simulations as to how any expedition will pan out.
    When Charlie (Hermione Corfield), part of Sam’s team, arrives at their home, she brings news that may affect the upcoming mission, as she has run a new model via Jay which predicts about how successful the colony could be – and it points to catastrophe!
    Reigel and Sam are faced with a dilemma – ignore the forecast and move forward, shut down the AI or abort completely.
    In the classic 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), the onboard computer HAL 9000 tries to halt the trip to Jupiter, as it has an agenda of it’s own, and this movie explores similar ideas of a machine intelligence gaining too much power, though it is earthbound and much smaller in scale. A timely exploration on the potential over reliance on computerised brain power and judgement, this delves into wide ranging concepts within its framework.
    Well acted by all concerned, this keeps it intimate, with its use of one locations, whilst inferring massive wider issues that humanity is facing. There is also talk of a missing astronaut Gene Campbell (Darrell D’Silva) who you know will be important plot wise. And what of the space woman in the opening sequence? Was Jay responsible for her death?
    Some may find the reliance on science techno speak and dialogue heavy scenes a bit drawn out and this does unfold like a play – big ideas on a small scale.
    Steve Kirkham

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