Everyone’s favourite gonzo actor, Nicolas Cage takes us into a dystopian futuristic wasteland in sci-fi thriller, The Humanity Bureau. Sidestepping a theatrical release, this Philip K. Dick style thriller sees Cage play a bureaucrat who goes on the run with a mother and son (Sarah Lind and Jakob Davies) to protect them from being shipped to ‘Eden’, a place which may well be paradise, but it’s likely an extermination camp which was built to keep the world’s population at a manageable level (Soylent Green, anyone?).
Essentially a piece on how Donald Trump is going to mess-up the future (yes, really), Rob W. King’s film is a modestly budgeted affair which sees Cage offer-up a low-key performance. He never goes full-blown Cage, instead keeping things on a human level as a man who knows that doing what’s right and following orders are two very different things.
There’s nothing flashy about The Humanity Level, – the visuals are solid without offering up anything memorable, however the story does throw in a few interesting twists and turns to make it unpredictable. Sure, the anti-Trump message is as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it’s probably the first film to throw blame for the end of the world at the front door of the former Apprentice star. The film’s only major misstep comes with the wildly misplaced moments to comedy, which feel like they’e come from a totally different film.
In the last decade or so, Nicolas Cage has been ploughing through film roles at an almost superhuman rate (five movies in 2017 alone). Some of those have been terrible (Left Behind), while some of them have been excellent (Vengeance: A Love Story) and The Humanity Bureau lies somewhere in-between. It’s far from Cage’s best film and it’s no sci-fi masterpiece, but Cage’s charisma and dedication to whatever he does makes it a worthwhile watch for those looking for a mild movie diversion.
The Humanity Bureau comes with a solid making-of piece which has input from all the major personalities behind the film.