Idaho Transfer (1973)

Article 2384 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-5-2007
Posting Date: 2-21-2008
Directed by Peter Fonda
Featuring Kelly Bohanon, Kevin Hearst, Caroline Hildebrand

Several young people work for a project that sends them into the future, where the world is a desolate landscape. When the government tries to close the project down, several of these people stay in the future and try to find a life there.

This movie was made during the dystopian pre-STAR WARS era of science fiction in the seventies. For this reason alone, I expected a certain amount of downbeat bleakness to the story. My problem with this one is that its so unrelentingly glum from square one that after a while nothing has any impact any more. It’s not even so much the story itself that is the problem; it’s more the fact that the direction and the acting seem so lifeless; everyone talks in a rather uninvolved monotone, the characters don’t sort themselves out, and after awhile the dreariness just starts to wear. In some ways, I admire what it’s trying to do; it’s trying build its story off of the characters and get us involved in their lives. But in order for this to work, the characters have to come to life, and that rarely happens in this movie. When it does happen, it’s usually because a particular character has started to annoy you. In the process, they fail to clearly explain the story very well, and after a while, I had trouble sorting out what was happening, figuring out why it was happening, and finding a reason to care. The movie does have its advocates, but I’m not one of them.


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