Silent Running ★★½

Save the Trees: The Movie

Okay, maybe it isn't that simplistic, but 'Silent Running' is still very straightforward and cheesy in the delivery of its environmental message. It evens out a little after a rocky first half-hour, but some things I just can't get past. The image of Bruce Dern in white robes standing in a tree dome and putting his arm out for an eagle to swoop down and perch on him as a schmaltzy environmentally-themed song plays over it is too much for me. After a series of events occur early on, the film slows down and focuses mainly on Dern's character and a couple of walking drones interacting and tending to the spaceship's last tree dome. The robots have personality and their interactions with our main character are nice. Bruce Dern is well cast and does a good job with a sensitive character.

Sentimentality is what drives Silent Running. From beginning to end, it's unapologetically emotional and passionate about its message. The earnestness of the film may be what endears it to some people, but I couldn't feel much for it, personally. The message is a good one, but its presentation is overwrought and often silly. I like the ending and the final shot, but I couldn't glean a ton of complexity from the story (a story in which not much actually happens), so this winds up being a bit of a dud.

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