(France/US/Belgium - 2017)
Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Written by Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson. Cast: Noomi Rapace, Willem Dafoe, Glenn Close, Marwan Kenzari, Clara Read, Christian Rubeck, Pal Sverre Hagen, Tomiwa Edun, Cassie Clare, Cameron Jack. (Unrated, 124 mins)
Noomi Rapace's intensely committed performance was the only good thing about the recent sci-fi film RUPTURE, and if you were impressed by her work there, then you need to see the Netflix Original movie WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY, the latest from Norwegian cult director Tommy Wirkola. Wirkola, best known for his two DEAD SNOW zombie movies, is making his first English-language film since his one-off attempt at helming a Hollywood blockbuster with 2013's long-delayed, problem-plagued HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS. But seven Noomi Rapaces are pretty much the whole show with WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY, a high-concept dystopian sci-fi thriller set in a future society where overpopulation, climate change, and worldwide drought have destroyed the agricultural system. Genetically modified crops create enough food to keep people fed, but they've also led to a spike in multiple births and genetic defects. This prompts political activist Dr. Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close) to create the Child Allocation Act, with the slogan "One Child, One Earth." In this new Orwellian world of constant surveillance and social control, multiple births are so common that one child becomes the law of the land. The parents can keep the firstborn, but the others are placed in Cryo Sleep, a process that puts them in a state of hibernation until the world's climate, population, and food concerns are properly addressed and the world is a better and more healthy place. As stated by one TV talking head, it's not a perfect solution, but "It may give us some time."
Robert Wagner had his entire role cut from the finished film (he's still listed in the credits on IMDb, and there's also a publicity still of him with Close). It's got some hiccups in the second half and can't stand up under any serious scrutiny, but if you don't ask questions and just roll with the craziness, WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY is an engagingly batshit blast that's certain to become a word-of-mouth hit for Netflix viewers very soon.