Enough with the god forsaken pandemic movies. We’ve been in this pandemic for more than two years now and even before the pandemic, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion was enough. But when we’re living the real versions of some of these movies, it just becomes exhausting. Seth Smith’s Tin Can is no exception to this dilemma either. But when it is so mundane and rather exhausting it also doesn’t stand out.
Tin Can drags itself to finish. It never has anything to really say other than humanity is doomed. It mostly confines itself to a cell slightly bigger than the person who resides in it. And it just struggles to find its footing or general narrative to engage the audience. The movie begs you to give up, and then as the credits roll you realize maybe you should’ve. There is no big payoff, and that’s what the movie says for itself.
Fret (Anna Hopkins) is a front line parasitologist who is trying to save the world from itself and find a cure to another deadly diseases. However, she randomly wakes up in a hexagonal prison cell. And she realizes someone captured/froze her in order to try and save humanity when time comes around and this pandemic is over. There is so little going on, and fueling the film is exposition. There are also the few but inadequate conversations Fret manages to have with the other prisoners who are in their own cells beside her. The film progresses at its molasses pace. And the audience slowly starts to become further and further disinterested in what is going on and what is happening.
The biggest problem with Tin Can and the script penned by Seth Smith doesn’t have a lot to do with the pandemic theme. It’s that the movie decides to bottle itself in almost one setting. It doesn’t ever move past that for the majority of the film. Movies that focus on a singular character in a singular setting are always hard feats to pull off. And when the story isn’t engaging, even the world’s strongest performance cannot save the feature. Anna Hopkins does the absolute best she can with what she is given. However, her performance lacks depth, motivation, and conviction.
Anna tries to engage the audience. But the abundance of exposition and the story is bogged down by real world issues consisting of the pandemic is just too real. The last two years exhausted people. If there wasn’t a global pandemic raging on while world leaders seem to have stopped caring about if people die or not, it is possible the story would’ve been more engaging. But the sheer amount of exposition is too much even then. Tin Can is an exhausting 104 minutes with a performance that tries to keep audiences engaged. But there is nothing that can save the film from imploding within itself.