Andrzej Bartkowiak has been the cinematographer on three films that were nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards: The Verdict, Terms of Endearment and Prizzi’s Honor. But he may be better known for his films that combined hip-hop and action, like Cradle 2 the Grave, Exit Wounds and Romeo Must Die. He’s also been behind two video game films: Doom and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.
That said, Time selected this as one of the top 10 worst video game movies, along with House of the Dead, Wing Commander, In the Name of the King, Hitman, BloodRayne, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Double Dragon, Street Fighter and Super Mario Brothers. Trust me — it’s not that bad. And films like this (and a few others on the list) don’t belong in the same wastebin as Uwe Boll films.
After a Mars research station is attacked, Dr. Todd Carmack sends a distress call that is answered by a team of Marines, led by Asher “Sarge” Mahonin (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). John “Reaper” Grimm (Karl Urban, Dredd) and his sister, Dr. Samantha (Rosamund Pike, star of Becca’s go to DVD, Gone Girl) are there to retrieve critical info before the base is destroyed. We learn that they were born on Mars and their parents were killed here. All that remained after their accident were skeletons of genetically enhanced humans.
Of course, all hell breaks loose — literally. Demonic monsters attack, The Rock ends up being the bad guy, innocent people get killed, a long first-person sequence happens and there’s plenty of action. Seriously, the movie is short on story and long on special effects and gore. It’s like an Alien movie without the xenomorphs, I guess. Or much excitement. It’s competently made, but an hour after it was over and I started writing this, all I could remember that I enjoyed was that the Rock played against his usual character and that Karl Urban got to be the hero.