Friday, January 28, 2011

Mutant Chronicles (2009)

The world is at war. Corporations rule every inch of the globe, and each of them seek to control the last remaining resources left on the planet. But now, a new dawn is approaching. Their selfish fighting unearths a machine beneath the Earth's crust that contains a new mutant menace, and one that threatens to destroy all of mankind. A sage cleric uncovers an ancient tome, the Mutant Chronicles, which may be the key to destroying the infernal machine. He must assemble a team of skilled warriors to accompany him into the bowels of the Earth to battle unknown terrors if humanity has any hope for survival!

MUTANT CHRONICLES is a live-action adaptation that takes its source from the popular Science Fiction role-playing game and graphic novel series of the same name. Simon Hunter, director of the underground hit LIGHTHOUSE, delivers this enormous epic using the same type of computerized environments found in SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW and SIN CITY. The stylized world that Hunter and his visual effects team have created cannot be confused with the cheap computerization that is found in so many other Hollywood productions. MUTANT CHRONICLES possesses an incredible scale with elaborate designs and a precise attention to detail, all of which were made for a fraction of the cost. Although it opened to mixed reviews, the film is an impressive feat considering its size. This is the film that Neil Marshall's DOOMSDAY should have been if it had been handled properly.

Hunter proves to be an enormous talent and an amazing visualist, bringing to mind other notable filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. His practical set pieces are impossible to distinguish from the computerized effects, which gives the digital facades a heightened sense of believability. The costuming, weaponry, and architecture also blend elements from the past, present, and future to create a unique aesthetic with its own rich history. MUTANT CHRONICLES maintains a steady stream of action that is fast-paced and intense, ranging from explosive gun fights to thrilling hand-to-hand combat sequences. As if this wasn't enough, it also packs in a ton of gory effects, where the mutants slice and stab their way through countless opponents in a spray of blood on screen.

Thomas Jane stars as Major Mitch Hunter, a roughneck marine that unknowingly assumes the role of the prophesized Deliverer that will destroy the machine. Jane is just as perfectly understated as he had been a year earlier in THE MIST. Ron Perlman, on the other hand, seems completely out-of-place and ambivalent about his part in the film. Each of their many co-stars also work to create a winning team of warriors, although SIN CITY's Devon Aoki stands out the most as the sword-wielding Valerie Duval.

MUTANT CHRONICLES may have become an instant classic if the story had only been more involved. While nothing can count against its visual style, the thin plotting seems entirely reflective of its roots in tabletop role-play. The characters are assembled and given a difficult task, but from there, it is simply a matter of hacking and slashing their way into the heart of the machine. This simplicity makes it easy to follow but lacks the emotional investment that ties the viewer to the characters and events in the film. Outside of this unfortunate shortcoming, MUTANT CHRONICLES proves to be one of the most ambitious recent entries in the Science Fiction genre.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 8/10.

If you liked MUTANT CHRONICLES, check out:
NATURAL CITY, CASSHERN, DOOMSDAY.

5 comments:

  1. Seriously dude, you liked this hunk of junk of a movie? Aaargh, this movie was such a dissapointment to me, it was damn nearly unwatchable it was so bad. The CGI looks cool in certain moments, but in others its what makes the movie terrible. This is one of those that were gonna have to disagree on, my review for it was pure hatred.

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  2. I went in expecting it to be a pile of garbage, but from the first moments I was completely enthralled Franco! Considering it was an Independent film made outside of the framework (in the UK no less), I thought the computerization was fantastic. That isn't to say that it wasn't noticeable, as it is clearly evident that the actors were working on a greenscreen in a number of moments, but the virtual landscapes themselves were crazy! I bought it immediately after watching, the entertainment value far outweighs the story strength, thats for sure, but I would have thought that you of all people would have really liked this one with your penchant for 70s and 80s SciFi! In the mean time, me and my copy will curl up in the fetal position reassuring ourselves of its greatness lol..

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  3. Haha Carl you badass. So glad you liked this gem. Been trying to sell people on it for a while! Finally got a brother in law addicted to it.

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  4. Dude, Nick, I honestly cant even fathom how this film received so much negative feedback. It may be mostly eye-candy, but I really liked the stylized look of the film, and the action was explosive! Add MUTANT CHRONICLES to Walking Dead night when you and Becks are in town, I'm holding you guys to dinner and a movie soon!

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