In his latest movie, director Kevin MacDonald (The Last King Of Scotland) takes us to the English countryside where rebellious American teenager Elizabeth (Saoirse Ronan) is forced to stay with her cousins who she has never met. At first Elizabeth, who insists on being called Daisy, is reluctant to hang out with her cousins ?, Piper and the older Eddie. Things change however when the threat of WWIII suddenly becomes reality with a nuclear bomb going off in London. I guess a war will make you forget your insecurities and bitchy demeanor.
Rather than focusing on the war, MacDonald keeps his camera trained on Daisy. This results in the viewer not getting an answer to a lot of questions. We do however see Daisy going from haughty to swooning to being in a full-fledged love affair with her older cousin Eddie (George MacKay) in a matter of minutes. When the country is being operated under martial law, the girls find themselves separated from the boys, and Daisy and her youngest cousin, Piper (Harley Bird), are shipped off to forced labor. In a desperate effort to return home to the others (read: Eddie), Daisy and Piper set off for a grueling trek for many miles, under threat of capture, rape or worse.
It’s a bit of an unfortunate choice from MacDonald to focus solely on Daisy. After all, millions are dying without us knowing why and we’re left watching a girl traipsing round the countryside while longing for her lost boyfriend. While there are some scenes that manage to capture what life would be like in case the apocalypse happens, this mostly feels like a missed opportunity.