Tuesday, 18 March 2008


Writer/Dir: Neil Marshall (The Descent)
Cast: Rhona Mitra, Adrian Lester, Craig Conway, Bob Hoskins, Malcolm McDowell, Lee-Anne Liebenberg, Alexander Siddiq, David O'Hara
UK, 2008

Seen: March 16, 2008 at Scotiabank in the early morning hours

Reason to see: I was impressed with The Descent, and the first half of the Trailer looked like it would be post-apocalyptic fun with strong female characters

Overall I was not impressed with this film, it did not live up to my expectations and was in essence a gore-fest. I was looking forward to seeing a strong female character but that aspect felt neutralized with the gender crap thrown in the film, which included completely unnecessary albeit brief nudity. There was also one character, again briefly shown, that was an uncomfortable racial stereotype which completely threw me off.

There is an interesting idea here but the film barely comes back to its own plot involving issues of contamination, containment and a virus. All of that set in a post-apocalyptic world gives you a huge blank slate when it comes to styling and this fell short to a lot of styles we've seen before and that there are so many different ones that all together is was quite non cohesive.

In and between all of that there is violence, violence and more violence. I didn't go in with blinders and expect this to be a family fun film but the level of violence was really high and anything that could happen did happen with blood, guts, dismemberment and more and all in a non CGI way. Violence doesn't always bother me but it was so gratuitous in nature that it turned me off.

I felt that I might be being a big harsh on my judgement of the film so I check out the films site and it does indicate that the intent was to be an homage to films such as Mad Max and Escape From New York but adding a new flavour. Unfortunately I didn't see much new. In fact, I found that one entire sequence that was glaringly familiar to another film including 3 exact lines from that film (Aliens).

I did find some of the acting quite good. Adrian Lester as the sturdy sidekick, David O'Hara as the cold-hearted authoritarian and the always wonderful Malcolm McDowell. I thought Rhona Mitra was good as the lead, Eden, but I kept seeing Kate Beckinsale's character in Underworld while she was on screen. Ironically Rhona Mitra is slated to be in an upcoming Underworld prequel so she got some dress rehearsal time here. I also felt that Bob Hoskins seemed as if he was a separate film altogether, however this might be due to the fact I'm used to seeing him in comedies.

Warnings: Violence, torture, gore

Shannon's Overall View:
I wasn't entertained
I wouldn't watch it again
I'd be hard pressed to recommend it, but if you liked the Trailer you will like the film

17 minutes of preshow including 10+ commercials and 5 previews: The Ruins, Street Kings Smart People, The Strangers and Prom Night

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© Shannon Ridler, 2008


Marina said...

I obviously enjoyed this much more than you did! Still, you make a great point about Adrian Lester. He was excellent!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Yep, seems I didn't like it as much as others, I think I may have been expecting too much.

Adrian Lester was great, as were so many of the supporting roles.

Sacred Suzie said...

Wow, this was a fascinating review to read Shannon. I haven't seen this one but was worried that it would be too violent and depressing. Having gender crap thrown in the mix, not to mention a hint of racism, will keep me from watching this one which sounds like it will be a big relief for me. I'm not a big fan of the female lead, not thrilled she's going to be in the next Underworld.

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