Every movie is someone’s favorite movie. That’s why I don’t call these reviews. They’re me exploring films, trying to figure out how they happened and what they are about. How do I do that about this film without feeling like I’m kicking a limbless child?
Edward Carnby (Christian Slater, Heathers) is an occult detective and the star of the video games that you may or may not have played. As a child, he was subject to some intense experiments as he grew up in an orphanage where Sister Clara raised him. As a result, he has a sixth sense and has increased strength and agility. He also used to work for Bureau 713, which protects the world from the paranormal.
We learn about Bureau 713 from a long scroll in the beginning that is also read to us. It goes on way longer than it needs to. And then it goes on some more. It may still be running as you read this.
He’s also investigating the disappearance of the Abkani, who worshipped demons from another dimension, demons who are coming back to ours. His girlfriend Aline (Tara Reid, American Pie) is the curator of a museum which happens to have artifacts from the Abkani. There are also some paramilitary guys who are legitimately wearing paintball armor led by Commander Burke (Stephen Dorff, Blade).
The writer of the film, Blair Erickson, summed up the changes Uwe Boll made to the script: “Thankfully Dr. Boll was able to hire his loyal team of hacks to crank out something much better than our crappy story and add in all sorts of terrifying horror movie essentials like opening gateways to alternate dimensions, bimbo blonde archaeologists, sex scenes, mad scientists, slimy dog monsters, special army forces designed to battle slimy CG dog monsters, Tara Reid, Matrix slow-motion gun battles, and car chases. Oh yeah, and a ten-minute opening backstory scroll read aloud to the illiterate audience, the only people able to successfully miss all the negative reviews. I mean hell, Boll knows that’s where the real scares lie.”
Yes, the bad guys look like aliens and basically tear everyone to pieces, other than Slater and Reid. That is — if you get that far. This is a film packed with continuity gaffes, appearances by camera people and even Reid being unable to say the word Newfoundland. For a film set in California, Canadian signage appears throughout. When Agent Cheung’s dead body is found, she visibly moves before the scene ends. And perhaps most amazingly, the creatures in the film? Their main weakness is light. Yet they show up in broad daylight to attack the two main characters at the end of the film.
I know Uwe Boll likes to punch critics, but I can handle it. Seriously, if you love a video game, there’s the worry that this man has made a movie of it. I’d do an entire week of his films on this site, but I don’t even know if I have that kind of guts.