For some, going to work no longer means early mornings filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic and not nearly enough coffee. Nowadays, reporting for work means opening a laptop just in time to make another Zoom call. As a people, we are detached from one another–and ourselves–and yearning to connect to something, or someone, real; as a people, we’re not much different than Guy Moshe’s protagonist in LX 2048…
Adam Bird (James D’Arcy) is fatally ill–dying from a failing heart–and looking to take care for his (admittedly) broken family, post-mortem. Thankfully for Adam, the State has him signed up for a Premium 3 insurance policy which entitles his wife Reena (Anna Brewster) to an ‘improved’ clone oh her spouse. The intention of the policy is to have Adam’s clone step into his life, uninterrupted, and care for his family. Unfortunately, the tech company that Adam works for is destined for collapse, and he knows it. In order to save his family, Adam must first save his company, making sure that his clone replacement has a job to go to when he shuffles off of this mortal coil.
In writing, directing, and producing a genre film like this one, it is up to Guy Moshe to balance audience expectations while also maintaining individuality. More often than not, the artistic juggling act required to create a commercially appealing sci-fi film ends with an artist’s vision giving way to an audience’s needs; however, in LX 2048 Moshe remains both resent and relevant. Yes, the film feels familiar, but it’s equally as a refreshing.
Despite the unrefined visual effects that start the film, the lack of a blockbuster budget isn’t problematic or, frankly, all that apparent. The near-future tech featured throughout the film feels unrefined, but it works. The lack of sleek and shiny, well-designed props doesn’t detract from LX 2048, but paying closer attention to a few key pieces—like the VR goggles/headsets—would have gone a long way.
The performances delivered by the cast, especially the one given by Delroy Lindo–when he finally makes it to the screen as paranoid genius, Donald Stein–are impressive. James D’Arcy does a good deal of heavy-lifting throughout the film, often carrying on one-sided virtual conversations, and as the film’s plot devolves and becomes more chaotic, so does Adam Bird’s mental state, making D’Arcy’s performance that much more demanding. Although, at times, James D’Arcy’s motivations aren’t all that convincing, his efforts are solid, throughout.
Due to budgetary restrictions, LX 2048 is small, by genre comparisons, but conceptually, the film is large and ambitious. Guy Moshe accomplishes what he set out to do and does quite a lot with what resources he had available to him. Fans of Sci-fi will, most likely, enjoy LX 2048, seeing through the lack of Hollywood dazzle, appreciating the relevant ideas at the film’s core.
The Bottom Line
An earnest and eerily timely sci-fi tale that does what it can with what it has, LX 2048 refreshes the familiar while provoking thought with relatively limited resources. Despite a lingering sense of underdevelopment, LX 2048 shows ambition and entertains, nonetheless.