Runtime: 1 hr 51 min
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Simon Hunter
Starring: Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, Devon Aoki, Sean Pertwee, Benno Fürmann, Anna Walton, Tom Wu, Steve Toussaint, Luis Echegaray, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Pras Michel and John Malkovich
I realised I had gone through 90 minutes of horror without feeling any tension or fright.
Review by: TimVoon
Added: 3 years ago
On occasion, I do like to borrow a mindless movie about zombies/mutants who wreak death and destruction on the world, and I got exactly what I asked for – the mindless bit.
The year is somewhere in the future, on some distant planet where a mysterious machine hidden beneath the earth is converting the dead and dying into killer zombies. Throw into this kung fu, a mysterious cult that believes in a saviour who will come and save humanity by destroying the machine and John Malkovich and you will get a strange brew of zombie bodies.
Did I really understand what was going on? Not really. Did it really matter? Not really. It is after all a mutant zombie movie and things don’t really have to make sense as long as the body count keeps mounting. The surroundings of this science fiction world are computer generated, similar to what was seen in SIN CITY and THE SPIRIT. However, the quality of the CGI is inferior and the artificial look is detrimental to the quality of the movie. There is plenty of gore as expected: bodies being pierced by sharp objects, heads being decapitated. In fact the only moments of bright colour come from the bountiful splashes of blood thrown on screen. Otherwise, everything else is a haze of greys.
The movie begins in the trenches of a fierce battle. The first impression is that one is in the trenches of the western front of the First World War. Before long we have zombies amassing the field slaughtering men like chickens at a processing plant. Confused? I was. Then the movie flips to the near future and we have fighter monks (Ron Perlman) recruiting battled hardened soldiers (Thomas Jane) to fulfil a prophecy about saving humanity by destroying the zombie mutant machine. John Malkovich has a brief moment citing some lines before he is quickly killed off by the mutants.
I think this movie fails not just in the CGI quality department but also in the storyline and tension department. I realised somewhere in the middle of the movie – after a few hundred thousand people had been wiped out by this plague – that I wasn’t feeling any excitement or worry. I was on edge of my seat in the first 5 minutes of 28 DAYS LATER, which is a gold standard for zombie movies in my book. In fact I was busy looking at the clock and ended up reading the paper as innocent people were being slaughtered.
Somewhere in the middle of the religious mumbo jumbo and kung fu fighting, and Thomas Jane being converted into a half mutant my interested picked up towards the end. At least there was a satisfactory explanation to the chaos, but I realised I had gone through 90 minutes of horror without feeling any tension or fright for that matter. Fail.