Review: 'Goodbye World' looks for love in time of the apocalypse

The apocalypse is no place for wimps. Whiners, on the other hand, are generously accommodated in Denis Henry Hennelly's "Goodbye World," an unconvincing, poorly conceived hybrid of end-of-the-world thriller and relationship drama.

The collapse of this civilization arrives via text message; the words "Goodbye World" prelude the sudden breakdown of all technological infrastructure. The stockpiles of food that survivalist James (Adrian Grenier) had hoarded in his off-the-grid cottage can feed his wife, Lily (Kerry Bishé), and their toddler daughter when the price of a fresh tomato at the store inflates to $40.

James and Lily play hosts to six guests, all with their own story lines, including Lily's ex Nick (Ben McKenzie) and his wife, Becky (Caroline Dhavernas). That sets up the stage for a love quadrangle that wouldn't be compelling in any context but feels particularly insubstantial when set against the apocalypse.

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The central octet remains bewilderingly blasé about the fact that the world as they know it has disappeared. To pass the time, they put on talent shows and ask what they'll miss most about the Internet (answer: cat photos), just like summer camp. That glibness disappears when cabin fever and jealous neighbors eventually threaten the group's safety and cohesion, but, save for Gaby Hoffmann's idealistic former congressional aide, none of the two-dimensional characters makes the case that they deserve to survive.


"Goodbye World"

MPAA rating: None

Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes.

Playing: At Laemmle's Monica 4, Santa Monica. Also available on VOD.


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