Future World is an apocalyptic thriller that has clear Mad Max vibes. Indeed, the film seems to be actively modeled over the iconic George Miller franchise. James Franco, of all people, plays a warlord and the villain of the film. I may have dismissed Franco as an average actor prone to histrionics, but after looking at his performances in David Simon’s The Deuce and The Disaster Artist, I am not so sure. The hero of Future World is Jeffrey Wahlberg, who is on a quest to save his mother (played by Luci Liu) from Franco’s Warlord’s clutches.
The look and feel of the film is so much like Fury Road that it is worth thinking whether it is not a parody or perhaps a ripoff. Warlord, James Franco’s character, is shown as a lusty (there is a sex robot), violent villain operating in a dusty wasteland. The film is directed by Franco and Bruce Thierry Chung.
While George Miller’s Mad Max films redefined the action genre, I am not so sure one can recreate the magic just by mimicking the art-design of the films. There has to be a vision. Franco may have developed into a capable actor, I am not sure about his directing abilities. Even in The Disaster Artist, I was in awe of his acting, but the film itself failed to impress me.
Here is the official synopsis, “Inside a desert oasis, a queen (Lucy Liu) lays dying as her son Prince (Jeffrey Wahlberg) travels across barren waste lands to find a near-mythical medicine to save her life. After evading violent raiders on motorbikes led by the Warlord (James Franco) and his enforcer (Cliff “Method Man” Smith), Prince meets Ash (Suki Waterhouse), the Warlord’s robot sex companion-assassin who’s in search of her own soul. As Prince is captured by the Druglord (Milla Jovovich), the Warlord’s forces roar in – and Prince fights to save the remnants of humanity.”