Wednesday, September 1st, 2010


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched this in 720p HD… It adds so much to movies to actually see them.

PEOPLE: Rhona Mitra (the Kate Beckinsdale replacement to Underworld 0:Rise Of The Lycans, who may as well be Kate Beckinsdale for all intents and purposes; she was also in Sweet Home Alabama and Hollow Man, as well as Boston Legal & The Practice). Bad guys played by Malcolm McDowell (aka Alex from A Clockwork Orange, and the bad guy from Star Trek 7: Generations) and Craig Conway (who reminds me of Blank Redge from Max Headroom–and this movie had a max headroom sign in it!). Other smaller parts by Adrian Lester (The Day After Tomorrow), MyAnna Buring (who’s been in the bad UK sketch show The Wrong Door, and went on to Lesbian Vampire Killers after this, haha), Alexander Siddig (24, Syriana, Star Trek:Deep Space Nine), Bob Hoskins (Brazil [“All you’ve got to do is blow your nose and it’s fixed, in’t it?”], Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Super Mario Bros[!?!], Pink Floyd’s The Wall), and David O’Hara (Wanted, The Departed, Hotel Rwanda, Braveheart).

QUIRKS: Sexy post-apocalyptic ultra-violence in the name of saving mankind. And the feel of the movie shifts–a lot. First it’s futuristic, but there are literally glaidator scenes, bows & arrows, and castles later on. Director Neil Marshal was quoted as saying that it is “so outrageous, you’ve got to laugh”.

VISUALS: Really good fast-paced action scenes. Interesting character wardrobes, plots, and sets: Some are post-apocalyptic Max Headroom-ish, while others are medieval. And then, staring at Rhona Mitra for an hour never hurt the eyes either. Even when she takes her eyeball out. (Apparently, Tom Hanks recorded some humorous voice work for her detachable eyeball. Looks like they made a good decision in taking that out…)

SOUNDTRACK: Considering this movie tangentially involved cannibalism, it was appropriate to use a Fine Young Cannibals song, as well as Adam Ant’s “Dog Eat Dog”.

MORALS: When society collapses, people will cease to have morals. Choose your allies carefully in such situations. Avoid the cities; head for rural areas.

POLITICS: Even in times of crisis, politicians will willfully sacrifice human life to further their own lust for power. Don’t expect the government to operate in YOUR best interest.

BAD STUFF: The movie starts with 20-30 minutes of near-non-stop action, so it really has no choice but to slow down a bit at the middle. And they never really truly explained how at the end, [highlight for spoilers] Eden couldn’t go back with the survivor, even though soldier-doctor-dude could.

CONCLUSION: A solid action movie paying tribute to many different styles of past action movies. Purely derivative, but quite entertaining nonetheless.

RATINGS: Netflix: 4/5 stars. Solid action movie. Really liked it, for what it is. IMDB: 8/10. I’d maybe say 7.5/10 if that was allowed. Definitely better than most action movies — but only because of the action. At the same time, it is what it is: A generic action thriller. So it’s definitely a few notches below what The Perfect Movie would be.

RECOMMENDATION: Action-lovers: See this. Not for the squeamish, though. Cannibalism, decapitation, piercing-ripping, explosions, axes, bullets, vomiting blood/nastiness, rotting alive…. This has it all.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Some similarity to Escape From New York, what with going on a timed mission inside a post-apocalyptic/failed future society enclosed within impenetrable walls. There’s even some similarly Waterworld/Mad Max, as the biker clan may as well be the “Smokers” from Waterworld, wreaking as much havoc on the road as anyone from Mad Max. In fact, 2 characters are named after the directors of Escape From New York and Mad Max. There’s also some similarity to 28 Days Later, what with a virus causing people to die, and the resulting ensuing violence. No zombies though. There are also hints of Max Headroom, but without everyone (including the homeless) having a television. Parts of the movie just looks like they could be from a Max Headroom episode. I guess because this takes place in the UK, like Max Headroom. It’s also a bit similar to Underworld (Rhona Mitra, Kate Beckinsdale — when you’re in a sexy suit killing people left and right, does it really matter which is which?) or even Resident Evil:Extinction.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Like so many epidemics before, the loss of so many lives began with a single microscopic organism. It’s human nature to seek even the smallest comfort in reason, or logic for events as catastrophic as these. But a virus doesn’t choose a time or place. It doesn’t hate or even care. It just happens.” (more…)