Humane | Review by: Benjamin Garrett


A good premise is often marred by lacklustre execution, which in turn makes it all the more frustrating to think about what could’ve been. Humane sadly squanders its fascinating ideas, taking the least interesting narrative paths at almost every turn. 

The film takes place in the near future, where mankind has nearly destroyed earth with their carbon footprint. As a result, people have been asked to humanely give their own lives in an attempt to save the planet, and in return their families will be gifted a sizeable monetary reward. The plot revolves around one wealthy family, and takes place over the course of just one day. The framework for something fun, clever and politically adept is in place. Why did we get something so safe and mundane? 

The end-of-days premise is used to bring the family together for a dinner party, and to create turbulence between them. Beyond that, the intriguing world building done at the beginning of the film is all but abandoned. This is a case of the setup being far more interesting than what the movie actually becomes. Yes, the sacrificial element still plays an integral part, but the catalyst that led there could’ve been countless other things. Every time I thought the movie was about to switch to a more interesting trajectory and incorporate its concept, it would instead fall into disappointing “been there done that” territory. 

While the tension and banter between the various family members is amusing enough, none of the characters are remotely likeable, nor are they written in a way that makes them interesting. This family is comprised of such cookie cutter personalities with no memorable traits or quirks. I don’t need to be able to relate to any of the characters in order to invest in them, but I was hoping I’d find one of them compelling enough to root for. 

The ensemble is decent, but with such dull characters, there’s not much they’re able to achieve performance-wise. Jay Baruchel is his regular, dry sarcastic self, and I did enjoy seeing him play a stuck up media personality. Schitt’s Creek’s Emily Hampshire was also pretty good, and I enjoyed seeing her flip flopping to whatever argument best served her. The standout here by a mile was Enrico Colantoni. He plays a government official in charge of the euthanasia division, and serves as a twisted mediator for the family. He’s having a lot of fun with the role and dials his energy up to the perfect level. I wish everyone else could’ve matched what he did here. 

Humane sets itself up to be something far more original and clever than it actually is. Watching a family of self-serving, rich snobs clash with one another is mildly amusing, but otherwise Caitlyn Cronenberg’s directorial debut is an underwhelming bore. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett 

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