Sunset is the disaster movie audiences had no idea they needed. Instead of overreaching for thrilling spectacles, director Jamison M. LoCascio presents a subdued, dialogue-driven film featuring a relatable cast of characters reacting and adapting to a critical state of emergency.
A recent terrorist attack in Los Angeles creates a social ruckus at an otherwise quaint birthday party between friends and neighbours on the East Coast. The discussions are very much in the moment, making it easy for people to throw around assumptions and accusations. However, when an unpreventable nuclear attack is announced for New York and surrounding areas, these same people are dropped in their own hypothetical topic they had so easily commented on the night before.
As 2012’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World did, screenwriters LoCascio and Adam Ambrosio address end-of-the-world concerns through patient dissections of human behaviour. As expected, we see people snap into a physical survival mode as they rally together fragments of their life, but Sunset is more interested in its nuanced older characters and their connection to the inevitable. Their final choices have a widespread emotional range, and their reflections are tenderly poignant.
Sunset’s low budget is very obvious, but what the film lacks in style is made up for through an unforgettable ending and uplifting messages of forgiveness and gratefulness.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie