Hmmm. How to provide a synopsis for something that makes no sense at all? Here goes.Two decades ago, a bunch of orphans were, for reasons left vague, experimented on by a scientistwho merges them with creatures from beyond (implanting them with some sort ofextradimensional parasite/worm thingy that clings to their spines, as it turns out). In the presentday, the one orphan who escaped the worst of the experiments is Christian Slater, who goesaround digging up rare artifacts…and fighting the forces of darkness. He used to be with a secretgovernment outfit, but is now on his own. This might be the reason why outfit boy Stephen Dorffis so ticked at him (but this too is unclear). Anyway, a portal is about to be opened, and Slater,Dorff and Tara Reid as a hilariously unconvincing scientist must fight against parasite-controlledgrown-up orphans and CGI rip-offs of the Alien.
Much gunplay ensues, but who is shooting what and where is very unclear. Geography, plot,time, space and simple film mechanics are all AWOL in this unmitigated catastrophe, one thatdoes achieve a certain entertainment value through its sheer ineptitude. (SEE! The dullest carchase since OJ Simpson climbed into a Bronco! SEE! Film history’s longest and mostnonsensical opening crawl! SEE! Bullet time for no particular reason!) Director Uwe Boll,having slaughtered two video games with this effort and House of the Dead, is set tobring more pain with the forthcoming Blood Rayne. Will someone in Hollywood realizethat writer/director JT Petty, who did the superb Mimic: Sentinel, is out there writing theSplinter Cell games? Hand the reins over to someone who knows what the hell he’sdoing.
Silk purse, meet sow’s ear. The movie is rightfully joining the pantheon of all-time worst,but the audio is spectacular, with 6.1 DTS-ES and 5.1 EX options. Both sound great (I might givea very slight edge to the DTS for a bit stronger bass), and the placement is very strong. The resultis an epic sense to the sound, even if it is completely unjustified.
More nice things here. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is razor sharp, so you cansee every moment of the dodgy effects in all their cheesy glory. The blacks are profound, yet thepicture is never murky (or at least not in a way that’s the transfer’s fault), and there is no grainwhatsoever. The colours are brilliant too. So you can enjoy very good-looking garbage.
Uwe Boll’s commentary is a bit on the defensive side, though it is informative (he recountshow he came to specialize in video games, for instance). His explanation for the ridiculously longcrawl (people didn’t know what was going on without it) hardly addresses the biggerproblems, but is indicative of how badly thought out everything is. There are two making-offeaturettes. One is sheer promo, and the other, about the FX, is a bit more useful. There a SIX(count ‘em!) music videos, two storyboard comparisons, a trivia track, a bullet time animatic,and trailers for the feature, House of the Dead, Riding the Bullet and TheFinal Cut. In other words, a ridiculous number of extras for such a gold-plated turkey. Themenu is animated and scored.
You have to see this. It’s just so bad. Nice package, though, for some reason.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Making-of Featurette
- FX Featurette
- Trivia Track
- Music Videos
- Storyboard-to-Film Comparisons
- Bullet Time Animatic