Chris Pine (Caleb), left, Margot Robbie (Ann Burden) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Loomis) in "Z for Zachariah."
Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate via AP
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A powder-keg plot setup triggers an underwhelming display of dramatic fireworks in "Z for Zachariah," a post-apocalyptic survival tale propelled by male-female emotional dynamics.Based on the 1974 novel of the same title by Robert C. O'Brien, the film does possess something of that last-days-of-man-on-Earth feeling of numerous sci-fi ventures of that period. It begins with a young woman and her dog emerging from a contamination-proof suit on high ground above what is otherwise apparently an unlivable world.Caleb (Pine) is a scruffy young guy with traces of radiation on him, but the other two agree to let him stay for a bit. The men sniff each other out about their mutual intentions, of course, but the situation seems defused when Caleb agrees to help John finish the big project of building the waterwheel.But even if the men decide that they can co-habit, Ann is eventually going to have something to say about it, leading one to suspect a third of the world's known human population won't be around that much longer.
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