Extrememly Leaky

Grayson McCouch in Airtight (1999)

With the world shrouded in pollution and toxic gas, civilization has taken to living beneath the surface in a crowded community who breath air pumped in via a maze of tunnels and tubes which draw in air from way above the polluted air on the surface. These tunnels are maintained by the "Air Force" except someone has other plans as industrialist Ed Conrad (Andrew McFarlane) wants to destroy the free air and hold the city to ransom over his system for manufacturing air. When Rat Lucci's (Grayson McCouch) "Air Hunter" father is murdered Rat sets about getting to the bottom of who killed him and in doing so putting himself in grave danger.

On one hand "Airtight" is a tedious movie, an unoriginal story which combines a post apocalyptical future with people living underground and a nefarious industrialist looking to capitalize on people's need for air by holding the community to ransom. It is so generic that from a what happens point of view "Airtight" is never interesting and with uninteresting dialogue and not the most thrilling action as well as a lack of atmosphere it is the sort of movie which you mentally switch off from very early on.

But then I don't think "Airtight" ever wanted you to focus on the storyline but instead wanted to entertain on a visual level with this look at a future with people underground. It allows for this interesting conflict of 1940s and 50s fashions and architectural styles with futuristic elements. As such you will have the "Air Force" in there jump suits in a room with people wearing older fashions and having an old fashioned dance with a band. But this is inconsistent as some people don't dress old at all and you have Virg, played by Tasma Walton, looking sexy in a more futuristic, shiny outfit. The thing is that this blend of old and future is not original and so like everything else it ends up feeling too familiar and copycat. Even the intentional lack of subtlety makes it feel like it is imitating "Starship Troopers" especially as it frequently trades on a vibrant look.

What this all boils down to is that "Airtight" isn't great and it is one of those movies which quickly loses your attention and only sporadically manages to regain it. But whilst it isn't great it isn't so bad that it is impossible to watch and is kind of amusing in a bit of a bad movie kind of way.

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