Synopsis: Expired is a science fiction love story. Ryan Kwanten stars as Jack, and Jillian Nguyen as April, who are unlikely lovers. Their meeting will have a lasting impact on the rest of their lives, but for different reasons for both . . .
The way that the story of Expired is told at first leaves you unsure what’s going on. But that doesn’t spoil things. In fact, it helps to keep your interest. Watching the dynamic between the two central characters develop is central to the plot. We see things mostly from the perspective of Jack (Ryan Kwanten). However, once we’re introduced to April (Jillian Nguyen) the way that Jack sees life begins to change. That’s when Jack meets Doctor Bergman (Hugo Weaving). What transpires is a beautiful character led tale about the vital thing that really gives us all our humanity.
Though there weren’t any Oscar-winning performances, there were solid performances. It can look easy to play a character that doesn’t have great complexity. But Ryan Kwanten did a fine job of that. He showed the emotion that’s present beneath the surface. Jillian Nguyen also gives an impressive performance too. She presented her character, April, as broken but with hope. There was a tenderness to the depiction, that was skilfully considered and delivered.
Hugo Weaving brought a strong screen presence to things, and that helped to give the story an elevated dimension. Weaving used his immense talent to offer a side to his character that suggested he was a possible metaphor for God.
CGI & Effects
The subtle world-building is what was most effective in Love Land. Specifically, there was a great use of colouring throughout. There was nothing truly ground-breaking, or any Earth-shattering effects. But the film didn’t really call for that. It’s fair to say that the film’s visuals were at least a little inspired by Blade Runner (1982). Things looked at times, very much “of two worlds”, or between them. But they were original, and the team made sure that specific effects were worked in within the overall look of things. This helped to maintain a tonally appropriate atmosphere.
Expired was a smart film in its own way. It’s not one for you if you’re after a thrill a minute . . . But as a love story, it worked really well. There were also some interesting sci-fi concepts that were explored well. It would have been nice to see them explored further, and in more detail. However, they did what they were there to do, which was mostly to act as a plot device. This meant the central premise functioned well. It’s well worth a watch if you like love stories.
Note: Expired is known as Loveland in Australia.
- CGI & Effects8.1
- Incidental Music8.4