Matt Codd’s Epoch is a movie that tries to be profound. Surprisingly, it might succeed, as it’s pretty well done. Part of the reason is that, when it comes to Epoch‘s thriller aspects, they have much to do with the mystery of alien technology and people’s reaction to it. In fact, it’s debatable if the technological monolith discovered in Bhutan is alien at all. This becomes clearer when it’s revealed to be ultra-ancient. The main characters all must grapple with these origins, and determine whether or not it should be tampered with.
In that regard, I’d have a tough time with any sharp criticisms of Epoch. When paired with the overarching themes, you also have a likable main character, Mason Rand (David Keith). At first, he comes across as an obnoxious American southerner stereotype. However, he quickly grows as a character, to the point where he seemingly represents the good in humanity.
He is instantly at odds with the military men present, be they the Americans or Chinese Ambassador Po (James Hong, who seems underrated as an actor in general). Yes, Epoch does have some romantic stuff going on between Mason and a fellow scientist (Stephanie Niznik), but it never gets ultra-mushy.
Is “Epoch” For Everyone?
Nothing is for everyone, but Epoch is pretty solid for what it is. You probably won’t be absolutely enchanted by it, but it’s a decent movie for anyone capable of appreciating sci-fi. I would recommend Epoch as a companion piece to certain other sci-fi movies. It’s also refreshing for a movie to not depict aliens or the unknown as inherently threatening.
This film reminds us that, quite often, we are our own worst enemies based on what we project onto the world. While it’s not a scientific law, what we give out sometimes can bounce back to us. This movie expresses the theme quite literally, as it turns out our distrust and suspicions may become our own undoing. In other words, this movie is reasonably smart. I will say this, too: Had Epoch been made at a much earlier time, it might now be considered a sci-fi masterpiece.
Admittedly, I have yet to watch the 2003 sequel, Epoch: Evolution, and I honestly may never get around to it. That being said, its synopsis makes clear that the monolith is back, and so is Mason Rand to investigate it further. It promises to be a logical extension of the first film, which was the SyFy Channel’s highest-rated original movie, at least at the time. In any case, either movie is likely more intellectually engaging than other SyFy events, like the infamous Sharknado series. So you may want to check this movie out, too.
What are your thoughts on Epoch? Let us know in the comments!