NO HOPE FOR THE FUTURE?
Mark Turner | 08/03/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are movies that are released that you think will be good, movies you hope will be good and movies you want to be good. On occasion it happens. But for the most part, as with MUTANT CHRONICLES, it never quite makes the mark.
Based on a role playing game, the basic outline was there. Fans of the game though have complained at the changes made. In any event, we are presented with a world of the future ruled by four warring corporations constantly in battle. During the latest conflict, a seal set in the ground is broken and an army of zombie like mutants, each with one single spear-like arm, is unleashed.
History reveals that this seal was put in place by a religious order when an alien spacecraft descended to Earth and began changing men into these mutants. Nearly defeated, man conquered this invasion and sealed the machine in the ground. The order maintained a book telling the tale as well as preparing for the day the seal might be broken. That day is now.
As mankind heads off planet to Mars, Brother Samuel (Ron Perlman) puts together a rag tag group of misfits who man be the planet's last hope. Former combatants are now untied to save the world as instructed by the chronicles. Armed with a secret bomb they don't even know how to use, they head deep underground towards the machine with the hopes of destroying it.
Among this group are the lesser characters, those that you know are just fodder for the mutant horde to follow. But the natural leader of the group is Mitch Hunter (Thomas Jane) who seems cynical to the extreme but whose humanity shines through at the oddest moments. Along the way he saves a group of survivors and later attempts to rescue his old commander from the mutants.
The mission is much like those seen in team flicks like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and THE DIRTY DOZEN. It's a suicide mission at worst and a chance for redemption and salvation at the end at best. Each team member has a reason to be here since each was given 2 tickets to get someone off world. Now it's up to them to save this one.
The movie itself is well made, the special effects extremely well done for being made on a shoestring budget. The look and feel of this world is both threatening and interesting at the same time. And the gore, while CGI created, flows when slashes and explosions come forth. But at the same time it feels kind of hollow.
The actors involved were enthusiastic about the project as seen in the special feature where they appeared on a panel at last year's Comic Con to promote the film. And their performances are pretty good. Yet something is missing.
This is not to say you won't enjoy the film. It does offer and action-adventure flick that will keep fans watching. It offers science fiction fans a look at a steam-punk world of coal driven spaceships and blast cannons. And it does entertain. And yet...
I may be in the minority. I recall a world in the sixties where the outlook of science fiction was one of hope. We watched STAR TREK which showed us a world of possibilities and co-operation and equality, where there were no bounds that we couldn't overcome. And yet in the late 70s and early 80s that changed and suddenly we were shown a future where cities had fallen, people wore rags and the heroes were few and far between.
This movie falls into that latter category. Perhaps that's why I can't say it's great. Perhaps that's why I can't say I loved it. Yes, I enjoyed it and yes it was entertaining. I would recommend this as one to watch but as for adding to your collection? Perhaps not.
As for the blu-ray aspects of this film they come into play with the sharpness and clarity offered. Every item on screen is crystal clear from the drops of rain that overflow in the films opening sequence to the drops of blood that fly when during the final battle with the mutants. Does it enhance anything from the movie itself? Probably not. But then for me at least, the clearer the picture the better."
A VISIONARY MODERN SCI-FI CLASSIC!
Explorator | Los Angeles, CA | 08/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Only the most cynical viewers could dislike this movie. If you're a fan of classic melodramatic sci-fi with 80s style characters, abundant special effects and unique sets / weapons / props then you will most likely LOVE this movie! This is one of those very satisfying movies that plays like a great adaptation of an early 80s comic serial from 'Heavy Metal' magazine (the adult comic fantasy / sci-fi magazine)! I wish I could have seen it in the theater! There are moments and spots of dialog that make the cynics cringe but it's a fun movie that is refreshingly unpredictable with stunning scenes of violence suddenly erupting and crucial characters getting ripped apart with stunning ferocity! Only those who are spoiled by Hollywood FX and hip dialog will dislike this movie. Those who prize imagination and a fun viewing experience overall will love it! This belongs on any true sci-fi lover's shelf next to Enki Bilal's 'Immortal' and Danny Boyle's 'Sunshine' as one of the better examples of highly imaginative modern sci-fi."
Watchable, but forgettable
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 08/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This gets off to a fast start. We leap into the middle of a war in some distant future, where megacorps squabble over the earth's remaining resources. During the mayhem, the long sealed crypt of a lost city ("how do you lose a whole city?" asks one character) is blown open, and the Bad Things emerge. That's the real plot, stuffing the Bad Things back in their hole, but there's some fun steam-punk in this brief segment, with things like coal-fired flying machines.
Then the plucky little band of select fighters is off to save the world. As usual, this group includes the prig, the bad boy, a holy joe, a mysterious and frail-looking woman, and a few others from the toy-box labeled "stereotypes." There's plenty of action, with increasing amounts of gore toward the end, and a finish about like you'd expect.
As commodity entertainment goes, it's a good, solid product of its sort. If the anachronism of swords and zapguns doesn't annoy you, you might even like it - but probably not enough to remember much about it a week from now.