Film Review: Parts Per Billion (Josh Hartnett & Rosario Dawson) Three couples’ drama at the end of days

Parts Per Billion, with Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson, Frank Langella, Gena Rowlands, Teresa Palmer & Penn Badgley.  Director, Brian Horiuchi.  Seems to be an all star cast, with plenty of familiar names.  However; Hartnett is trying to remain relevant, Dawson is on cruise control, Langella is an emeritus & only sharp, mature people & the elderly remember Rowlands.  Put this together with melodramatic, soap opera hysterics & you have an okay film, filled with endless discussions between under-developed characters, who are in the midst of having developed lives & issues.

I really do like Hartnett.  He’s lately been television quality, which is fine, with his inclusion in Penny Dreadful.  His role in this film, as the restive husband of the lawyer to Langella’s character; is more than adequate & this tall drink of water is in his top form, attempting to save the day & his marriage.  Periodically.

The low budget movie is filmed in a backdrop of civil unrest, the result of a spreading plague, dispersed by a bio-weapon, somewhere in the middle east.  I found it to be filled with a bit too much white glare.  Like an annoying, overcast winter day.  There was also an overabundance of closeups with few perspectives, as if each setting was limited & only half a room could be filmed, at any given time.  Which indicates a bad location manager & cheap shots.

I don’t recommend the film.  It’s a debbie downer, with no consolation prize.  It was fun seeing Gena Rowlands & Langella was actually the best thespian, in the bunch; but focusing on trivial relationship issues, that three couples are having while the world shuts down – isn’t my idea of a good time.

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3 responses

    • In a short analysis, there’s not the room to include the lesser known names. Unless there are no bigger names. Since you ask… Palmer & Badgley were each quite adequate, within the limitations of their roles & scripts. I hesitate to say, they have a monopoly on actual talent, in the film. Outside Langella’s performance.
      Thank you for your question.

    • Oh. I was interested in Penn’s performance after watching him play Jeff Buckley in his last film, in which he was frankly terrific. This seems like a disappointing follow-up. Thank you for replying.