May 1, 2010



From the director the Descent and Dog Soldiers, comes with an homage to the eighties cult classic end of the world/apocalypse film like Escape from New York, The Warriors, Aliens, Heavy Metal 2000.  This film isn’t great, but when understood as an homage as much as a new film in the genre it is very entertaining.  It is nothing more then a fun romp through England with completely eccentric characters and off the wall action scenes.

The film starts with England split into two.  Part of the country has been quarantined a several years ago after an epidemic started and no cure was able to be found.  However, there is a remnant of people who have survived.  So when the disease resurfaces in the non-infected part of England they send a team, led by Major Eden Sinclair.  The hope is that Dr. Marcus Kane, who stayed in the infected zone has either come up with a cure or at least his research is available as it is unlikely he was still alive.  They enter the zone protected with haz-mat suits and an armored truck.  While they are searching for the information, Sol and his gang who have survived the twenty-seven years since the initial outbreak attack the group and truck.  The truck is destroyed and the group captured.  The few that are captured have to fight their way out from Sol’s prison and games.  Maj. Sinclair hears that Dr. Marcus Kane might still be alive out in the country.  She and a couple other members of her team, when they escape they go out to find Kane.  They end up finding a feudal world that Kane has created and set himself up as the king.  Eden and her team are again captured and Kane tells Eden that there is no cure, it is just a natural immunity that some people have to survive the disease.  He then is going to hang the team but they are rescued by one of the people whom Kane rules.  Then Eden and her team have to fight their way back out of the feudal country and then back through Sol’s territory who isn’t at all happy that they escaped from him the first time.

The acting in this film isn’t all that great.  It has one legend of film, who plays Dr. Marcus Kane, in Malcolm McDowell, and it is only fair since he starred in A Clockwork Orange which fits into this genre in many ways.  It is nice to see him in this film as he plays his pretty typical character, as he does on TV a lot, playing a very creepy and proud villain.  Major Eden Sinclair is played Rhona Mitra, who is probably best known for her role in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and she does show up in SGU: Stargate Universe.  Craig Conway plays Sol and does a good job acting crazy.  He has worked previously with Neil Marshall in Dog Soldiers and The Descent.  The acting isn’t all that good, McDowell gives a good performance, as you’d expect with someone of his talent.  Mitra does a solid job and Sol is very entertaining.  The rest of the characters are extremely entertaining and unique so the fact the acting isn’t all that great.

Visually this film is as good as  Neil Marshall films generally are.  He pays great attention to his details in his films and that shows up in this film as it is absurdly detailed.  His writing in this film isn’t as good as other films.  Much of this is because it is meant to be an homage to a genre that he loves and at points the story is a little confused trying to get in the little visuals and scenes that reference other films.  It would have been better to take the Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg style where the story is all important as in Hot Fuzz and then the references that work their way in work.  So the story is lacking, but visually it is very entertaining and it is tough to fault Marshall as he has created a very visually entertaining film and there hasn’t been a good cult classic apocalypse film in a long time.

This is another one of those films that you need to shut up your brain for.  It is just a goofy film with a ton of references to other films and you watch it for the absurd action and absurd characters.  I wouldn’t recommend it over Marshall’s other works, but it does have some value of its own and you have to enjoy it for what it is.

Entertainment Grade: B

Critical Grade: C-

Overall Grade: C+


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: