Poster

Goodbye World is the most realistic depiction of the apocalypse and its local impact.

Our entire technological infrastructure has fallen apart because of a virus that sent a message to literally everyone—by targeting that person’s contacts and sending the message to their contacts (and so on) in a never-ending cycle. Not only has that caused communication to collapse, but it has snowballed to a complete failure of the energy grid. Suddenly, we are technologically untethered.

What was the message everyone was sending and receiving? Goodbye World.

Within the first 15 minutes, our group of friends is introduced and you start getting bits and pieces of the collapse. However, these people are largely aloof to the impending doom. Except for a few characters caught in major cities, most of them are making their way to a dinner party to their friend’s house in the secluded hills of Northern California. Essentially, the house is a compound with an ample garden and supplies. It is very convenient, but it makes sense in the context of the story.

Principles

The core four characters that are meeting up for this dinner party are two couples: Nick (played by Ben McKenzie) and Becky (played by Caroline Dhavernas) as well as James (played by Adrian Grenier) and Lily (played by Kerry Bishe). Nick started a company with James and Lily, but James froze Nick out of the company—because Nick wanted to sell the private data of their users—then James sold the company. It’s a nice, tight way to get these characters to this compound for a reason.

The other friends in this movie are Benji (played by Mark Webber), Laura (played by Gaby Hoffmann), and Lev (played by Kid Cudi). Benji is a radical activist recently out of jail who travels giving lectures, but still lives in the guest house out back. Becky is a disgraced political aide after getting caught on camera fucking the Senator she worked for and loved. Lev is a hacker who is about to commit suicide during the opening of the movie, but he stops when he hears about the cyber attack on the news.

Kid Cudi

Don’t let the cast fool you. There’s not a lot of notable names, but they play their parts extremely well. I hate most movies like this because the characters feel like a collection of actors rather than a group of friends. That dynamic is so hard to capture because every person within the group has a different relationship with each friend. When do you ever have a group of friends where everyone likes everyone? Have you met most people? This movie gives you the sense of history amongst these friends, and their interactions bring those stories to life. It is a credit to these actors and the writing.

Goodbye World earns the honor of most believable movie group of friends I’ve ever witnessed.

Friends

To be clear, this is more of a human drama than a movie documenting the collapse of society.

Shrinking the scale is a wise move because you can only show so much in a low-budget movie. You may not see America crumbling, but you get glimpses through the impact it has on people. When society falls, it is people who you have to watch out for at every turn. People will start to turn on you in order to save themselves. Friends become enemies. It is a fight over human nature.

I never felt like Goodbye World bordered on the ridiculous.

For the most part, these friends are kept safe by virtue of location. The house is not remotely close to civilization so they are cut off and secluded from most of the chaos. These places exist, I used to live approximately a half hour from any gas station or store. When things get too cozy and comfortable, a threat is introduced in the form of a sketchy duo of National Guard soldiers.

National Guard

I don’t know why there is so much hate and vitriol for Goodbye World.

If no one else will stand up, I’ll be the one to champion this movie. Goodbye World is built on an interesting concept, and the amazing acting breathes life into the story and makes it personal. I didn’t like everyone and that’s the intention. There are different characters that each person will connect with or despise, but there is plenty to enjoy in terms of both comedy and drama.

As much as Adrian Grenier gets deservedly shit on, Goodbye World is the absolute apex of his acting ability. Although he does sport an annoying top knot for most of the movie, Grenier makes James a believable blend of asshole and well-intentioned husband trying to care for his family. Even Ben McKenzie displays some dimension as Nick rather than his typical flat character type. And fucking Kid Cudi. I love Kid Cudi and Lev is a beautiful bright spot. Goodbye World is almost perfect.

I’ve said it several times before, but re-watchability is an important factor in my enjoyment of a movie. I believe Goodbye World is good enough to earn your repeated viewing. At this point, I think I have watched it at least 5 times. Savor Goodbye World while it is still streaming on Netflix. With a runtime right under an hour and a half, it’s an ideal length. Director Denis Henry Hennelly managed to make something unique with this movie, which he co-wrote with Sarah Adina Smith.

You don’t often get a comedy that packs an emotional punch.

When it ended, I did not want to say goodbye.

Satisfaction

4 out of 5 stars

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