I remembered seeing Epoch when it first came out. Not in a theater, but as a rental when it was first available. My memory of it was something well done at the time and like any movie using tech I wanted to see how it had aged.
We have spoken before about the use of tech, particularly computer tech, in any movie. About how it locks a movie into a time many won’t remember or admit to, like 1980s hair or the leisure suits of the 1970s. Of course, the suits will last longer than any film because unlike film, those suits don’t bio-degrade.
Attempting to guess future tech usually doesn’t end well or sometimes it doesn’t begin well even if you get it right. You may remember when I spoke of “The Net” where one reviewer lambasted the film because the lead actress pulled out a laptop computer and without connecting any cables booted and logged into the Internet. Today nobody would think twice about that. If you really want to see just how far some films will try to predict tech rent the 1956 version of “1984.”
The Verdict for Epoch
I must say that “Epoch” aged well. The filmmakers tried to rely on technology which was of the day and they tried to hide it. The large tube type monitors were built into a cabinet hiding them but the computer generated graphic displays were DOS era VGA graphics. They looked good for their day and now they look quite nostalgic. Many of today’s GPS systems are still using what appears to be DOS era graphics because they are the least resource intensive.
Perhaps it was because I was so much younger when I saw the film the first time, but I didn’t remember the quick dive into religion. When I watched this time I noticed it more. That may also be because religion is in the news seemingly daily now due to world events but wasn’t when this movie came out roughly 15 years ago.
Being longer in the tooth now I also noticed where they cut the budget. Spending quite a bit of money on the wind and Torus, they “talked” about 2 divisions of Chinese troops just over the hill rather than hiring all of the extras. Instead of a squadron of MIG jets they used just 2 and destroyed models. Yes, they avoided the big bucks of CGI there. Instead of a fleet of military vehicles there were only a couple of trucks and one tank.
This is a worthy film for every writer to watch, and watch several times. It shows how you can do a lot more with quite a bit less if you sell it right. These filmmakers and actors did quite a bit to sell it. In short, this film has held up well.