When it premiered at Sundance earlier this year, dystopian Young Ones didn’t make much of a splash, despite featuring such stars as Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The film, directed by Jake Paltrow (younger brother to Gwyneth), takes place in a world decimated by massive drought and follows two ranchers (Shannon and Hoult) who turn on each other in their struggle for survival. As their conflicts grow more violent, Hoult’s rancher pursues a relationship with the other’s daughter (Fanning).
Our own Dominic Mill caught the film and wasn’t a fan, giving it two stars and concluding:
Young Ones feels like an opportunity wasted, with a genuinely unique take on the classic Western thrown away for the sake of something far more dull. It’s competently made, but the more it wore on the less interested I became (it feels a good deal longer than its supposed 100 minute length). As much as I wanted to enjoy it, Young Ones‘ over-stretched plot and stunted script leaves it feeling like an art-house short that was given too much money.
Though many critics echoed that sentiment, Young Ones‘ cast is likely what convinced Screen Media to snap up distribution rights (though the fact that the deal came in May, months after Sundance, should say something). Two new trailers have popped up online for the film today, and even just watching them, it’s easy to see what Dominic is talking about. Young Ones looks over-saturated with plot, which is a shame given the talented cast involved. At least we’ll get to see what Paltrow can bring to the table in terms of visuals – the stark landscapes definitely hint at a lot of cinematic style on display in Young Ones.
No release date has been announced for Young Ones, though we expect to hear of one shortly.