Atomica Review
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The quest for the perfect source of clean, safe energy has been a key topic of conversations and political campaigns for decades. But the sci-fi thriller Atomica takes this timely topic and turns it into the backdrop for an eerie but flawed futuristic adventure.

Atomica journeys into the not-too-distant future with Abby (Sarah Habel), a young facilities engineer for a ground-breaking energy company that’s found a way to clean up nuclear disasters while creating safer nuclear energy. When the company loses communication with one of its facilities, Abby travels out to fix it. When she arrives, though, she finds the place in disrepair. The caretaker, Robinson (Dominic Monaghan), admits that he suffers from something he calls Sensory Deprivation Psychosis, and the facility’s scientist has disappeared. And the longer Abby stays, the more she begins to suspect that something has gone horribly wrong there.

This sci-fi thriller has a lot going for it: an eerie story, a claustrophobic setting, and some likable cast members. The facility is dark and dingy, filled with machinery and little else—and Abby ends up trapped there with a strange character who’s quite possibly lost his mind.

Monaghan’s Robinson is a delightfully creepy character in grimy coveralls. He seems to pop up everywhere and at any time—and it’s hard to tell if he’s simply awkward and eccentric from being isolated for so long or if he’s just plain dangerous.

Really, Monaghan’s character is the highlight of the film—because while there are plenty of other intriguing elements here, they just don’t come together in an especially compelling way. The idea may be an interesting one, but there isn’t enough action and tension here to fill even a short, 80-minute movie. It takes a while for the real suspense to build, and the overall pacing is pretty slow.

Habel, too, makes a less than convincing star. She’s rather bland—and there’s really not much to her character, besides some unnecessary flashbacks to a childhood memory that doesn’t seem to have a place in the story. Even Tom Sizemore, who makes his appearance later in the film, is surprisingly (and disappointingly) understated. The film often takes itself too seriously—and, in doing so, it misses out on some great (and entertaining) opportunities—and it simply fizzles out in the end.

Despite its promising concept and its entertaining cast, Atomica fails to capitalize on its best points. And instead of building into a wild, eerie ride, it’s long and dry, and it eventually falls flat.

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