Welcome to the first installment of Movie Monday! A weekly movie review for gamers.
Each week I will rate a movie on several categories based on it’s value as entertainment of course, but also on it’s value as inspiration for use in role playing games. I will do my best to leave out major spoilers (and would ask you do so in the comments s well), but in discussing the plot, characters, and other elements of a movie, small spoilers may creep in from time to time.
So without further ado, let’s begin with the stinkburger known as…
The ill considered Sequel to Recon 2020: The Caprini Massacre (which I have not seen and will be avoiding). This sprawling mess of a movie follows Lieutenant Sharp and his theoretically elite team of startlingly useless soldiers on a mission that makes very little sense and could probably have been better handled by the three stooges… or by just ramming a spaceship into the planet.
So, this movie is terrible… but is it useful? Let’s take a look.
Plot : D4
The director can’t make up his mind if it’s a rip off of Aliens, Starship Troopers, Terminator, or Return of the Jedi. The mission is ill defined and rambling and completely fails (despite being made up of bits of better movies that apparently the director should have watched more closely) to be in any way interesting. Someone has explosives, they have to get those explosives somewhere they can make a bang, there are baddies in the way, that’s pretty much it.
Characters : D4
Barely two dimensional. Entirely unbelievable as people much less an elite squad of soldiers. Their dialogue is physically painful and what attempts that are made at giving them some motivation fall even flatter than the attempts at humor or sexual tension. The most consistent and interesting character is the emotionless android.
Setting : D4
Locations have no cohesive look or feel and the characters Very little effort is put into the world outside the scope of the movie and not a whole lot of thought really went into where the action (and I use that term loosely) takes place. There is very little about the world, society, or locations that stands out as useful or even of passing interest.
Gear, Tech, and Magic Swords : D8
Airsoft, Army Surplus, and sporting goods come together into a surprisingly good look that deserves a slightly better movie. Other than one boob mounted taser however, there is nothing really interesting in this movie that you couldn’t have gotten in the equipment list of any nearly decent science fiction game… or even Rifts.
Beasties and Baddies: D4
A big toothy CG brute in a bad toupe and an honest to god Beholder can not redeem the low budget borg (one of which is CG for no apparent reason whatsoever) or a few entirely random monsters that seem to have been tossed in to placate some niece or nephew who was trying to break in to 3D modelling. There seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason to the aliens or any seeming relationship between the different kinds. One of the two main villains is almost over the top enough to be fun but doesn’t quite get there, and the other was dropped in from some other terrible movie for no reason I can fathom. There are no useful motivations to be gleaned or plot ideas that better movies haven’t already given you.
Soundtrack : D8
Decently generic action music more appropriate for epic fantasy than to military sci-fi. They licensed their music from http://www.extrememusic.com/ and http://www.twistedtracks.com/ which bear some investigation as at first glance these seem quite useful places to get background music for your games. They don’t actually list which pieces they use though, so other than a potentially useful pointer to these sites it’s not worth having fought through this film for the music.
Overall Score : D4
Badly written, badly acted, badly paced, terribly edited. The sound is even spotty with some dialogue mercifully difficult to follow because of low volume. The best I can say about the production is that the lighting is pretty good. The only reason I would ever give to see this movie is for some nicely done sci-fi military gear and maybe if you had committed some dire sin that you could not admit, but that you felt you had to pay for. This movie is bad, and not fun bad, but it is better than Transformers 2.
Recommended system : Rifts