Well done but perhaps one of the most depressing films you will ever watch.

Parts Per Billion is a film written and directed by Brian Horiuchi.  It’s very well made—with some really nice acting.  However, it’s also one of the most depressing films you could ever watch and I don’t think most folks would want to see a film quite like this—especially since it seems very obvious where all this is headed.

When the film begins, you learn that some sort of biological weapon was unleashed in the Middle East.  Soon, folks in that part of the world start dropping dead and it seems like the weapon will spare no one in the immediate area.  However, when the effects start spreading globally, it seems like perhaps no one will be left alive.  However, this film is not so much about this directly but how a few individuals react to all this. Some fight desperately to survive, some ignore the inevitable and some can’t stand to face life in this post-apocalyptic world and are ready to just give up.  Naturally, these scenarios are depressing and the film keeps cutting back from one story to the next.

Parts Per Billion
Directed by
Brian Horiuchi
Josh Hartnett, Teresa Palmer, Alexis Bledel
Release Date
20 May 2014
Martin’s Grade: B-

The film stars a few famous folks—with some really nice performances by veteran actors Frank Langella and Gena Rowlands as well as Josh Hartnett and Rosario Dawson (among others).  The direction is also good, though in a few scenes I was annoyed by a modern filming technique which I think is way overused—the unsteady cam (it can make you nauseous if you see too much of this on the big screen).  But the combination of the music, writing, acting and director’s touch is quite good.

I am going to make this review rather short.  Suffice to say if you like Robin Cook stories about pandemics, then you’ll probably enjoy Parts Per Billion (if enjoy is the proper word for it).  However, it’s a lot more depressing than most of Cook’s doom and gloom scenarios—much!  Well made but so thoroughly unpleasant I am not sure who would really want to see this one.  My advice is see it if you want, but if you are suffering from depression or are worried that this one might make it tough for you to sleep, I suggest you try something else.  Well done but awful to watch at times.

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Martin Hafer

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