Twitter Plot Summary: A group of people, almost universally unlikeable, see out the end of the world in their remote cabin in the hills.
A virus sends the text message “Goodbye World” to mobile phones across the United States, eventually shutting everything down and causing widespread chaos. It just so happens that a group of old friends are reuniting at a remote and well stocked cabin in the woods that weekend, so other than a trip into the local mini-mart where a single tomato has a price tag of $40 and lady’s sanitation towels are being sold for $100 a box, they have little to worry about for the time being.
This is not a film where the end of the world is depicted in action, rather it’s about the difference of opinions between people as to how you should proceed, how you should treat others and so on. The key message seems to be that, if you’re selfish, there is no place for you in the world. A bit harsh perhaps, but when compared to other end of the world scenarios where the characters survive exactly because they are selfish, it makes a valid point. The problem is that it never has the strength of its convictions to explore this in any great detail, instead preferring to leave the characters to bicker while everything goes to pot in the real world. There was an opportunity here to take things a little wider, to discuss the big themes in a wider context, yet it never gets beyond the fact that much of the group have a history with one another.
The group don’t seem all that bothered that the world as they knew it is over, although that may be to do with the pot they are smoking and their isolated position in the woods. They may have had a different opinion about it if they were based closer to the town or near a larger city. It seems that the best way to deal with this situation is to bury your head in the sand and count to ten, then have an argument with the people you’re currently living with about relationships – because this is clearly going to solve all of your problems.
Things get more complicated for them when a couple of soldiers rock up and seem intent on taking up residence, but luckily they have somebody in the group who has a perfect recollection of the constitution and soon sends them packing. Then it gets silly when a couple of the group, accomplished computer hackers, appear to have been responsible for the technological breakdown and the collapse of society. Hmm. In terms of internal logic to the narrative and the emotional journey the characters go on it makes sense, but for the audience it’s something that has the potential to ruin the story completely.
Goodbye World highlights the problems of throwing several generally selfish people into an end of the world situation. Whilst this setup has its moments, it would have been a more interesting film if it had focused on the community established by their neighbours down the road – that group looked much more interesting and more capable of providing an engaging narrative.