I have always enjoyed Norman Reedus, but it seems he is mostly celebrated because of his work on "The Walking Dead," and I think that is a bit of a shame. Reedus has had an extended career before anything pertaining to zombies. He was great in "Blade II," he was great in "The Boondock Saints." He appeared in "American Gangster," "Cadillac Records," "Deuces Wild" and "The Conspirators." When I began watching "The Walking Dead" when I was junior in college, I was a bit skeptical, but it was Norman Reedus who kept me watching, not Daryl Dixon, Norman Reedus. I think when actors get attached to a character for too long, the character gets stuck. That can leave both pros and cons toward an actors career.
"Air" stars Norman Reedus and it was produced by Robert Kirkland, who wrote "The Walking Dead" comics. So automatically this is going to be marketed by the help of "The Walking Dead." That alone is both a blessing and a curse, but it is well needed since "Air" isn't much of a movie at all, and what does resemble a movie is often disappointing.
"Air" takes place in an apocalyptic future. Most of the worlds breathable air is gone and most people are dead. We meet Bauer (Daryl Dix...I mean Norman Reedus) and Cartwright (Djimon Hounsou), they have been tasked by the government to find or create a new air source to save the planet. Unfortunately, we are told all of this information, and very little of the movie is actually shown to us. One of the best things Mark Twain ever said was "Don't say the old lady screamed, bring her on and let her scream." To authors, that means show, don't say. The same can be said about movies. Nobody finds a movie particularly exciting or entertaining if they are just being told everything through a narrator, or in this case a futuristic monitor.
As the two men go about their research, they are likely to but heads. Of course this is what happens when two men are left in a bunker at the end of the world, they begin disagreeing. We have seen countless times before, I just wish "Air" didn't play everything so safe. One of the men is stuck on their sense of duty, while the other begins worrying about survival. Its the most basic way to approach this idea, sadly everything is played safe. They try to wow you in the beginning by trying to explain what it is the researchers are doing, but its so poorly explored that it doesn't even matter what their doing. They will eventually be at each other's throats by the end of the movie, rendering anything worth thinking or philosophizing about worthless.
Both Reedus and Hounsou do their best to make all of this relevant, and for the most part, they deliver good performances. But honestly, it ends up not being enough. This could have been a cool idea for a science fiction movie, but sadly its so tied up being like almost everything else in the genre that it is never allowed to thrive.
FINAL GRADE: C-