Blue World Order, a film shot entirely in the ACT using a local crew, has premiered in Canberra.
On a cold, wet day in the capital, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of winter – even on Friday 1 December. Alas summer began with a false start, the gloomy and saturnine skies perfect weather for sitting at home and doing not much. But such is a testament to the passion and determination of locals that the premiere for Blue World Order was bustling with crowds at both Palace Cinema and at the National Film and Sound Archive. No amount of rain would stop these fans!
Blue World Order is an idea that has been floating around the ether for a few years, with many people keen to finally see what directors Che Baker and Dallas Bland have in store. Originating as a short film in 2012 and emerging into a full-blown feature-length movie (with a book to come too) would be an ambitious feat for even the most experienced of crews. It is also quite possible the largest premiere this town has seen in a while and everyone involved in the film should be proud of such a great achievement – getting a movie made is never easy.
The concept itself is one we have seen before – Post-Apocalyptic setting, the film is touted as Mad Max meets Children of Men. We follow Jake Ryan, whose daughter is the last child on Earth, as the pair run from an evil organization and seek redemption, hope and answers.
There are peppers of references elsewhere too, laser guns ala Star Wars, and even a scene taken straight out of the Last of Us video game. And although the use of a Delorean is a sci-fi convention, it connotes strongly with the lighthearted comedy of Back to the Future in a way that seems out of place with the themes in this film.
The main selling points of this film are novelties at best and they tend to wear thin as the movie continues. The majority of the story is following Jake across the wasteland with his daughter and confidante/exposition machine in Stephen Hunter’s Madcap, as they unravel the truth of the mysterious future where all humans are under some kind of mind control (released via an EMP) – should they disobey, the punishment is death. It’s a cool motif and leads to some cool moments.
As a film, it is entertaining and of a decent quality that is enough to keep you reeled in. However, structural issues in writing and clunky dialogue remove you from the story, the chemistry between the actors is lacking, and often we don’t see pivotal beats that we’re used to in a film.
While Blue World Order is a testament to an ambitious idea, you can’t help but feel the producers might have achieved a more effective and powerful story if they reduced their scope and focused on the story at the heart of the film.
Most of (if not all) of the glaring issues from Blue World Order stem from the producers biting off more than they can chew. However, to their credit, involving actors Billy Zane and Jack Thompson, and finding local financing in a world where the low return of interest and digital fragmentation make this increasingly difficult, exemplifies the determination and creativity of the people behind the scenes. Here’s hoping it gets traction outside of the ACT confines and resonates with its audiences.