April 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

Tom Long

Reviw: Erratic 'Goodbye World' is a confusing mix of genres

And you thought your college reunion was bad

Ben McKenzie and Kerry Bishé star in 'Goodbye World.' (Jeff Bollman)

Still, give director and co-writer Denis Hennelly some credit for ambition. It’s not often people are trying to live down a decade-old college love triangle as the world ends. Obviously, the potential for shifting tones here is great; unfortunately, those tones shift rather erratically.

Meet James (Adrian Grenier), a wealthy, retired, former tech tycoon now living a sustainable hippie existence atop a remote northern California mountain with his wife, Lily (Kerry Bishe), and young daughter, Hanna (McKenna Grace).

Coming to visit them is Lily’s former beau and James’ former partner Nick (Ben McKenzie) with his new wife, Becky (Caroline Dhavernas), a woman they barely knew while attending Stanford.

This awkward reunion is made even more awkward when their old anarchist friend Benji (Mark Webber) motorcycles up with a college cutie (Remy Nozik) and announces the world is ending; there are riots in the streets and the government has lost control because of an Internet mishap. Oops.

The group is filled out with the arrival of disgraced political aide Laura (Gaby Hoffman) and offbeat master hacker Lev (Kid Cudi). The gang’s all here! Let’s break out some wine, get in the hot tub and dredge up old hostilities while Rome burns.

Soon enough, though, the heat travels up the mountain as neighbors realize James has a huge stash of food and medicine. So the film begins flipping back and forth between “The Big Chill” and “Red Dawn” — not exactly an easy balance to maintain.

The uneasy reunion part ends up seeming very secondary, but then the apocalypse isn’t that much of an imposition either. Ultimately, each story undercuts the other. Ouch.

'Goodbye World'

GRADE: C-

Not rated

Running time: 101 minutes

tlong@detroitnews.com
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