Monday, September 7, 2009

Humanity's End (2009)

A great example of how far we've come with CGI when a movie can (at times) look so good but play so badly.

Cool fonts, things blowing up and someone in a welding far so good.
Cool fonts, things blowing up and someone in a welding far so good.
Humanity's End (YouTube trailer) promised so little yet delivered slightly more than expected. Far off in the future of a cliche story involving too many races, sub-races and plot holes - homo sapiens is wiped out by the Nephilim. The Nephilim are a race that evolved parallel to homo sapiens but always strived to grind humans under their heel. After being destroyed, coming back, being destroyed again and coming back again,  the Nephilimhave teamed up with Homo Technis(I think) to destroy all humans. Homo Technis is an off shoot of homo sapiens, their street name being the Konstructs. Throw in some bio engineered races and bio engineered robots (not clear on the distinction) and you've got a movie that tries to do too much with too little yet succeeds at creating some, at-times, impressive visuals regardless.

Did I say humans were wiped out? Well mostly. Two survivors, a breeder and a mercenary captain, team up with another woman who thinks she's human but turns out to be a robot, plus a bio engineered bald guy and a ship called Blue. They fly to Mars with the purpose of finding weapons that turn out to be of no consequence to the plot, then manage to destroy the entire Nephilim fleet with a single fighter (their big ass ship being all crashed on the planet). Also, the Konstructs are now humanity's friend as part of a suddenly revealed double cross by the Konstructs against the Nephilim. Could have sprung the surprise BEFORE killing all other humans. Oh and the mercenary guy is killed at the end. His character was rubbish and his acting poor so it didn't matter so much. I was a touch sader when Blue, the computer, was taken offline.

While on the topic of acting, I must say I struggled to detect any. There was talking at each other, bad emoting, fake crying, a laughable sex scene(but in fairness I think it was supposed to be) - but no actual acting or character building.

The effects on the other hand were plentiful and generally well executed. Given the low budget there was obviously a mix of good and bad, but for the money they got some decent sets and many many effects. Ships, explosions, more ships, guns, more ships. All externals shots were quite attractive and the ships well realised, however the explosions and some of the incidental effects came out pretty awful. Overall, plenty of eye candy and most of it good.

I'd be interested to see what the same studio could do with more money. My sincere wish is that it'd free them not only to create more and flashier effects but also pay some decent actors and buy a proper script. That's a movie I wouldn't mind watching, the world needs more sci-fi movies with ships, explosions and humorous one-liners. Throw out the fucking subtext and intense stares and throw in more leather pant and cleavage. There, done.

No boobs, no acting but lots of decent effects (remembering the budget).


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