Archive for February, 2012

Act of Valor (Mike McCoy Scott Waugh) 2012

Posted in A on February 29, 2012 by moviemoses

I’m certainly not going to say the popular thing after hearing what my friends had to say about this movie, but it wouldn’t be the first time I suppose.  I wanted to save my full review because my feelings for this need a complete dissection.

Okay so I suppose I will tackle the elephant in the room and discuss the thing which made this movie notable in the first place.  The big selling point for this movie is they use real life active duty Navy SEALs in this movie as the main characters as opposed to actors.  I oppose this on a few grounds.  For one, I really don’t see why this movie *needs* real SEALs in it.  On a discussion on another board someone brought up the fact martial artists aren’t really actors but we kind of tolerate them in those roles.  I believe there is a difference though.  Martial artists are specially trained in a physical role that cannot be done by actors.  For example, I don’t think there are many (if any) that can do the physical stunt work and choreography that Jackie Chan can do.  However when we are talking about SEALs doing genuine SEAL stuff, we are talking about procedural minutae and not anything uniquely physical.  By that I mean, a SEAL would know how they hold their gun, how they engage a threat, how they clear a house etc.  You can have actors do the things a SEAL needs to do on screen (hiring them as off camera advisors) with the added bonus being they can actually act.

I bring this up because the acting in this movie is EMBARASSING.  I’m sure the people in this movie are nice and charasmatic people in real life but I let out audible groans every time one of them had to deliver a line.  What made things worse was it seemed they picked the person with the most robotic and unemotional line reads and gave him the narration for the movie.  There is no reason for SEALs to be in this movie other than it is a cheap gimmick to draw attention to the film.  This leads me to my second point about all this attention to detail.

I…DON’T…CARE.  I guess I am talking about me personally because all my other friends seem to get hung up on all this realism.  They scream at the screen when someone salutes wrong or an emblem is out of place or a real army guy wouldn’t do X, etc.  I don’t care.  To me the story and the characters and the message are what matters.  And I’m not being hypocritical either, I don’t care if my career is portrayed wrong on the screen (my career being movie reviewer of course).  It’s all just window dressing to me.  It doesn’t matter to me because it doesn’t matter to the plot.

I’m going to go off on a mini-tangent while we are on topic about the realism of the movie.  I’ve heard people note about how good the sounds of gun shots are becuase they used live ammunition on set.  All that means is the sound editor wasn’t doing his job before.  There is no reason why anyone should be firing live rounds on a movie set.  Period.

The plot for this movie is practically non-existent.  It is the bare minimum of getting SEALs to point A to shoot bad guy B.  In fact, I think it is less than minimum because there was a moment in the third act where the SEALs are shooting up an African village and I had no idea why they were there.  Now maybe I wouldn’t rail on this so much if this was any other bland actioner.  But there is something different when the filmmakers are flat out telling you this is a recuiting tool.  Yes, this is jingoistic, xenophobic, flag waiving piece of  military porn.  It is a touch hypocritical that in a movie touting the “realism“ banner that it uses cheap emotional cliches, stock plot devices, and paints everything in the most simplistic black and white way.  The SEALs are white hats all the way, not even using “enhanced interrogation“ which is approved but wouldn’t want to damage the image of the military.  Look, I am not talking shit about the military nor am I even making a statement about our current engagements over seas.  But the comments I heard coming out of this movie were about how this felt so much like a video game and how much fun it would be to join up.  I’m against the filmmakers basically fooling people into enlisting.  War is bloody, the politics are complex, and psychologically damaging to the people that endure it.  I respect the people that do that job but wish more people actually considered the consequences before they did (or before anyone even considers war).   Now that I’m off my soap box I’ll move on.

Despite all that, I could still get into this movie if the characters were at all interesting.  They aren’t.  This is one of the biggest cast of forgettable characters ever.  In the third act one of the team makes a noble jump on a grenade and I swear I didn’t know who that guy was.  I guessed he was the guy who’s wife was expecting simply because in a war movie if you have a baby on the way you’re dead meat.  Let me put it to you another way.  I didn’t know who was narrating my film.  Isn’t that sad?  I mean, I recognized the guy every once and a while by his robotic voice but isn’t it sad I don’t know who my main character of the film is?  It’s bad when you can only recognize people by the smallest of details, like one guy has a beard or another always has a toothpick in his mouth.

This movie is loaded with action, and I simply did not care because I did not care about any of the characters.  The one character’s death in the third act is supposed to be really emotional but I didn’t care because I still don’t even know this guy’s name.  I never felt any tension when these guys were on a mission.  I know a rebuttal will be “Well, these guys are SEALs.  There wouldn’t be any tension because they are that damn good.“  Yeah, I know.  But part of drama is overcoming adversity and even SEALs encounter adversity.  The writers were trying to impart some drama by the end by having the local police say something to the effect of “You are dealing with the cartels.  Prepare yourself for a fight you were never expecting“  But still they role into the compound like nothing is different and your reaction is just “whatever“.

I feel like I should say something positive.  Well some of the cinematography is inventive by having cameras on the helmets to give the impression you are part of the team (also the feeling you are in a video game).  Although the flip side is I thought at other times the plot scenes were shot too close and even partly out of focus (it MAY be the theater projector but I doubt it).  I won’t even go into all the cheesy as hell slow motion used in many of the dramatic scenes.  There are also plenty of action scenes in this movie.  This movie did entertain the party I went with.  However, this party was very much the movie’s target demographic and if you haven’t seen it by now you probably aren’t the movie’s target demographic (nor would they listen to anything I say).  If you aren’t sure or have been on the fence about seeing it then I wouldn’t bother.  At the very least I would say wait until it is on DVD.  The best I can say is that it is a forgettable action movie that can scratch some people’s patriotic military movie itch.  But once you strip away the gimmicks and artifices all you have is a bad exploitation movie.

Inside Out (2011) Artie Mandelberg

Posted in I on February 23, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $2 million

Gross: Unknown on exact figures

We return with our old friends WWE Films.  Now I actually don’t go into these automatically disposed to hating them (well, most of them I suppose).  In fact the last one I reviewed (That’s What I Am) was good.  Well, maybe not good but decent.  Well, it didn’t make me want to kill myself like The Chaparone.  Anyway…

The point is I’m not opposed to Vince McMahon getting into the movie business but I suppose I’m befuddled as to what his goals are.  Keep in mind, this is a person who runs a professional wrestling organization who has deluded himself into thinking he is running a “sports entertainment industry“.  McMahon seemingly wants to plug his pro wrestling product without actually acknowledging he does pro wrestling.  Inside Out is a perfect example of this schitzophrenic thinking that is going on here.  Inside Out is a “psyhological thriller“ about an ex con who wants to live a clean life but is drawn in by his screw up violent friend.  To have a person who dresses as Conan and who’s gimmick is he spits water be anywhere near something labeled “psychological thriller“ is a recipe for disaster.  I must have said every time I review one of these films that I don’t mind having wrestlers in films so long as you play to their strengths.  See No Evil may have sucked donkey balls but that is not the fault of Kane.  I believed he could play a freakishly large psycho killer.  I recently saw Scorpion King 3 (which is not a WWE Film) which had Batista as an undead gladiator.  I have no problem with Dave Batista being a roided up sword swinging gladiator.  I do have a problem though when you get Triple H and put him in the Matt Damon role from Rounders.  You need to choose one Vince: either produce good independent movies with no ties to the WWE, or make Z grade action schlock starring your non-acting muscle heads. It’s one or the other here.

Now to be way more fair to Triple H than I probably should be, I will say his performance is not embarassing.  Working for so long in the WWE has taught him to deliver lines somewhat natually and to have a sliver of personality.  This performance ceratinly could have been worse.  However, that by no means is a statement that this is a good performance.  Whenever Levesque has to go beyond his limited range things do get a bit laughable.  There is a scene where Arlo‘s (HHH) friend Jack (Michael Rappaport) shoots someone right in front of him.  This is supposed to be a really dramatic scene because Arlo has been trying to stay clean and Jack has put him square in the middle of covering up a murder.  Arlo should be in complete shock yet the emotion on HHH’s face I can only describe is mild irritation.  I would expect the same kind of reaction if Jack were to spill his soda on Arlo’s jeans.  It never feels like Arlo’s life is spiraling out of control so much as it feels like he misplaced his keys and he has to beat morning traffic.

The wrtiers try to make a serious thriller, but there are some really questionable decisions.  Okay so the story is supposed to be that Arlo is trying to lead a clean life but Jack tragically lures him back in.  That’s all well and good but the way they write it is almost comedic.  Arlo is at a bar where Jack is shaking down someone who owes him money.  Jack pulls out a gun to scare the guy, Jack sneezes, and the gun goes off killing the man.  To quote another wrestler “Are you serious bro!?“  The movie also tries to be realistic and not have any action scenes or over the top stuff.  Yet for some reason there is this female mad bomber ninja who goes around kicking everyone’s ass.  I can’t believe I just had to type that.  You also have this extremely out of place fourth wall breakage by Jack’s character despite the fact this is Arlo’s story and they never do anything with it.  Really after the mad bombing ninja the fourth wall breaking narration doesn’t seem as bad.

Don’t let that all that stuff fool you though, this movie is boring.  The dialog is horribly flat, there is no action,  the story is uninteresting, and the entire movie is predictable from the box cover.  There is no intrigue, there is no reason to care, there is no reason to stay awake.  The whole movie is supposed to be driven by the fact we like Arlo and want to see him get out of trouble but he is so lifeless and dull.  All he does is lurch around the house grumbling about how prison sucked and makes pickles.  Yeah, that is the biggest character trait we are given about Arlo; he makes pickles.  I could talk more about the annoying performances by Parker Posey and Michael Rappaport or about the drab direction or any number of things but I don’t care anymore.  No one cares.  I don’t even think the actor’s families were polite enough to watch this for them.  This is a movie that has already been forgotten and rightfully so.  There is no reason for anyone tobother with this bland crap.

Straw Dogs (2011) Rod Lurie

Posted in S on February 15, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $25 million

Worldwide Gross: $10 million

Straw Dogs is a remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah movie of the same name.  We follow David (James Marsden) and his wife Amy (Kate Bosworth) as they are moving to Amy’s ancestral house in the deep south.  David is working on a screenplay and is looking forward to the peace and quiet.  The locals don’t like this meekish city boy and the tensions slowly build to a gigantic conflict between them.

Part of what made the original so interesting were the issues that were explored.  We have the obvious theme of violence but also issues of gender roles and the male image.  It says something when you have a wide range of views on the events of the film.  You have some people that view David’s actions as heroic as he sheds his “liberal“ exterior and becomes the alpha male and you have for example Sam Peckinpah who saw David as the villain of the film.  He saw David as subconsciously wanting the violence and provoking it and that things could have been resolved peacefully somehow.  There was no clear cut moral to be brought from this but a way for Peckinpah to work out some of his issues.

The remake instead opts out of any kind of complexity and  goes for a simple black/white conflict. Now even that I am not going to make that my only criticism of the film.  After all, I have said repeatedly I don’t necessarily mind remakes to a film as long as they do something new or innovative with it.  After all, I didn’t hate the Get Carter remake simply because it didn’t have all the complexity of the original, it was because it at best a Direct to Video Stallone flick that brought nothing new to the table.  My issue with the Straw Dogs remake is that when Lurie is done stripping awayall the issues and characterization, all you are really left with is a generic horror film about backwoods hicks picking on the city folk.

One thing that really bugged the crap out of me while watching it was not just that the complexity of the original being thrown out, but of the things kept in we had to dumb it down in typical condescending Hollywood fashion.  We can’t have any questions or have the audience do some actual thinking.  Don’t know what straw dogs are?  Well don’t worry, because we will literally have the characters sit down and discuss the symbolism of it for three minutes.  I’m almost shocked there weren’t flashing words on the screen going “IMPORTANT THEME!!! PAY ATTENTION!!!“  We also learn David is writing a screenplay about Stalingrad.  Don’t get the parallel?  Don’t worry, we will have a long scene where David explains very thoroughly to the rednecks the importance of the story.  We can’t think for ourselve about the role of sexuality in this film so we have David ask the question of “Why don’t you wear a bra?“ to his wife and having her in turn give a lecture on why he’s an idiot.  HELLO!!! SUBTLETY ARE YOU IN THERE!!!  Even the controvertial rape scene is made less effective.  It is not because of modern audiences dulled to violence, it is becaue of poor directing.  The remake has lots of flashy edits and cross cutting when in the original it was more effective when the camera lingered on the events.  It was uncomfortable because we could not look away from the horrible thing happening right in front of us.  Now we have a CGI deer flying over James Marsden’s head as the sexual assault begins.  Okay…

I hate to seem nitpicky but I have to criticize is the casting of James Marsden as David.  This is a shame because Marsden is a charasmatic actor and he even does a fine job with the material.  It’s just that David is supposed to be the absolute opposite of the rugged tough guy played by Alexander Skarsgard.  I don’t care how frumpy you try to make him look or what nerdy glasses you put on his face, he still has the same chisled body type of Skarsgard.  I would like to credit someone in particular, but even James Woods (who is the man BTW) is saddled with a one note character that even he can’t work his magic on.

I would like to be more generous to this film.  I have read a good number of IMDb reviews from people who haven’t seen the original and think this movie is alright on its own.  I guess if you really had no knowledge of the Peckinpah movie this would be a decent thriller.  The acting is alright, the story is well executed, and the tension can be good at times.  However, much like my thoughts on The Thing remake, I really have to ask: why would you settle on an average retread of a movie that is already great?  The original beats the remake in every department from acting to cinematography to suspense and so on.   It was rather tedious watching this movie because I kept waiting for something new or different to come out so that the movie would at least justify its existence.  That moment never came and I spent over two hours asking myself why I wasn’t watching the original.  There was no good reason for me, and there is no good reason for you either.

Mars Needs Moms (2011) Simon Wells

Posted in M on February 9, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $150 million

Worldwide Gross: $39 million

Ouch.  Just ouch.  Normally when you think of something that might be one of the biggest box office bombs of ALL TIME (#1 unadjusted for inflation/#5 when inflation is figured) you have to think there is some reason behind it.  I mean, I’ve done some of the biggest bombs of all time and without checking I’d say most (if not all) had something go wrong.  Heaven’s Gate had a power man dictator of a director, Ishtar was a money pit of a production, Shanghai Surprise/Gigli had bad press with the actor couples, and so on.  But then you get these animated movies like Treasure Planet and Mars Needs Moms whose only crime is frankly being mediocre.  Well, in the case of Mars it didn’t help opening close to Rango but whatever.

I guess if I had to give my non-expert analysis on why this movie bombed so bad (other than the obvious of not spending 150 million on a kids film) is that, unlike other motion capture movies, this didn’t haveas good a gimmick to draw in the audience.  Movies like The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol would be reasonably sure bets as those are established stories which could be made into one of those traditional Christmas films that could be played on TV every year.  It’s almost guaranteed to make its money back eventually on TV revenue and DVD sales alone.  With Mars Needs Moms, it is a rather odd concept that makes you wonder why this NEEDS to be done in motion capture.  Why do we need to spend 150 million on an idea which barely limps past 70 minutes (the movie is longer than that but the story essentially ends bythen)?  Unlike A Christmas Carol which was a star vehicle for Jim Carey, Mars also doesn’t have any big name draws.  Maybe I’ll get responses about how Seth Green deserves more respect but I don’t mean to slam Green.  I say that because Green is not in this movie.  Seth Green did the motion capture, but later the producers realized Green didn’t really have the voice of a nine year old so they replaced him with an unknown child actor.  So given the choice between that and Rango, I chose Rango.

Mars Needs Moms is an odd movie to watch.  It’s more of an action movie than a comedy to me.  It is like producers needed to justify doing this big money 3D motion capture realism stuff so it is played off like an amusement park ride or something.  Every ten minutes we have the characters falling down a long rollercoaster type chute which is designed to make us go Oooooooooh or there is some chase scene through the futuristic city and we are supposed to go Aaaaaaaaaah.  I’m sorry but I’m not easily impressed by that stuff now and going into a movie with a goofy title like Mars Needs Moms I was expecting more comedy than action movie.

And the comedy in this movie really isn’t comedy.  The filmmakers idea of comedy is having people do goofy characters and tricking people into thinking that is actual humor.  For example, the kid runs into this alien who acts like a hippy from the 60’s.  My initial thoughts were “Aaaaaaaand?“  And what?  What’s the point? Am I just supposed to laugh at the fact she says things like “Groovy“?  Dan Fogler plays a guy who acts like he was stuck in the 80’s.  Aaaaaand what?  Am I supposed to laugh at the fact he simply references Top Gun?  Where’s the joke?  I mean, take Kung Fu Panda for example.  Jack Black plays his usual slacker character but in the body of a fat panda.  By itself, probably not all that funny.  But there are jokes in the film about him beating people using the power of his massive gut and using his bulk to his advantage.  That’s a joke.  That’s why it is funny.  Dan Fogler doing a Jack Black impression with no real jokes; not funny.

As I mentioned before, even though this movie is technically like 85 minutes, it gasps across the finish like at like 70 minutes.  It is a horrible experience to be sitting there thinking “Man, this movie is dragging.  We must be in the third act by now.“ only  to look at the timer and see you are only 37 minutes into the movie.  Because the whole movie feels like filler.  The action scenes don’t feel natural, they feel like they are shoved in to artificially inflate the run time and to justify the budget.  The comedy isn’t really comedy but a bunch of people mugging for the camera.  There is no major character development or story to draw people into the story.  The movie is spinning its wheels the whole time and you almost feel bad for the writers as if they all came down with crippling Barton Fink like writers block during the making of this movie.

Mars Needs Moms really isn’t a horrible movie.  This is a meh movie.  It is a movie that couldn’t justify the expense or the production at all.  Mars Needs Moms would be a movie people would forget if not for the fact it is one of the biggest box office bombs of all time.  There is nothing which stands out as being very bad, but it all feels like a half assed effort.  While this wouldn’t be the worst thing to rent for your kids, I really wouldn’t recommend it to people.

The Grey (Joe Carnahan) 2012 Some spoilers

Posted in G on February 6, 2012 by moviemoses

Ottway (Liam Neeson) is a security man for oil drilling team in Alaska.  On the way home, the plane carrying him and the rest of the crew crash.  Ottway and a few other survivors must try to make it to safety but they find themselves in the middle of the killing zone of a pack of fierce wolves.

I guess it is that rare time when I have to be contrarian to all the glowing reviews for this movie.  I can’t say I hated this movie but I certainly didn’t love it like most others seem to have.  And to counter something right off the bat it is not because I thought the movie would be more action packed (although the trailers do give you the extremely wrong impression about what it will be).

All during this movie I kept thinking of how this movie was failing where The Edge did things right.  You remember The Edge right?  Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin fight a giant bear in Alaska.  Am I one of the few that loved that movie?  Anyway, the Edge made better decisions about storytelling that didn’t work as well in the case of The Grey.  I suppose I’ll start off with my old man, most curmudgenly complaint in that I prefer a real life scary as hell looking bear as opposed to rather crappy looking CGI cartoon hell hounds.  I know this seems really petty but to me this was more a distraction than menacing.

A more substantive complaint is about the characters.  The Grey has none.  Well okay, that is a bit of an overstatement.  The Grey has a collection of completely forgettable, one dimensional characters.  Short of Liam Neeson, I could only identify people by the loosest of ways: that guy has glasses, that guy is a dick (for no real reason), that guy has long hair etc.  It’s really bad when we are about 10 minutes from the end and I seriously don’t know a thing about one of the few remaining survivors.  I’ve been with this guy for the course of the whole movie.  I should know SOMETHING about this man.  Liam Neeson’s character is the only one that is given anything to his character, but even that feels like table scraps compared to a full course meal.  Compare this to The Edge where we had three characters stuck in the forest.  Hopkins and Baldwin’s characters especially were fully mapped out characters.  I knew who they were, what brought them there, and what their motivations were.  I knew them so well there were no surprises in how they acted because I could see it coming from the way they were before.

This leads me to the dialog.  The Edge was written by David Mamet.  The dialog was cleverly written in that the characters had interesting things to say as well as revealing character traits.  The best part was none of it was very forced or unnatural.  My biggest complaint about The Grey is the dialog.  I really don’t mind that this movie has limited action or that most of it is about the characters huddled around fires talking.  I have a real problem when most of your movie is talking, and the characters have absolutely nothing interesting to say.  The banter between these people is so stock and unoriginal that it matches the characters.  It is all predictible blather about how one wants to see his kids or how another wants to get laid when he gets back to civilization or bitching from the dick character for no real reason given in the script other than the character is a dick.

The Edge had the characters dealing not just with the bear, but in surviving in the wilderness with no equipment.  The Grey eventually tries to get around to that, but that also fails in my opinion.  In the third act we get a scene where one of the characters jumps off a cliff to tie a rope between a tree and the cliff face, and the rest of the characters try to get across on this rope.  In a movie that is seemingly grounded in realism this scene seems way too unbelievable and Hollywood compared to the rest of this pic.  It’s also a bit of a plot hole in that the wolves somehow beat the characters down a cliff face despite the characters using a shortcut.

All of this stuff is making the movie a rather painful experience and then the last act of the movie comes up.  And all of a sudden its like they realize the mistakes they made and try to correct it.  The writers give Neeson’s character an actual, you know, character and not just a gruff voiced tuff guy persona.  The overall message of the movie becomes clear and the tone of the movie comes into sharp focus.  The characters are given some really powerful scenes and the tension is fully present.  It’s strange that a movie suddely being very good had me pissed off but seriously; what the hell!?  Why the hell did it take 90 minutes into this 120 minute movie for things to finally get going?  Sadly it wasn’t enough to fully turn my opinion around on this movie.

The Grey is a frustrating movie for me.  On the one hand, director Carnahan is really giving his best efforts here.  The atmosphere is bleak and depressing as all of nature seems to be conspiring to kill these men.  While I personally didn’t like the CGI, he films the wolves mostly in shadows to make them more of a silent but deadly threat which is always nearby.  Neeson gives a very good performance and the ending is very exciting.  That being said, 90 minutes of this movie was a painful slog.  Besides Neeson, everyone else is a faceless nobody with nothing to contribute to the movie.  The plotting is too slow for the limited material, and the dialog is absolutely horrible.  While the third act is very good, the rest of the journey is bad enough that it almost makes the ending not worth the trouble.  The Grey ends up being just barely good when it could have been much much better.

 

PS Watch The Edge

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011) Kevin Munroe

Posted in D on February 6, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $20 million

Worldwide Gross: $4.6 million

A few of my usual housecleaning matters before I get to the review.  For one, no, I have not even heard of the Dylan Dog series prior to seeing this movie so I have no idea how faithful it is to the source.  If I had to venture a blind guess it would be; not at all.  Also, I had originally seen this movie over a month prior but other matters got in the way of my review.  Apologies in advance if my details on the movie are not as good as they would have been if written shortly after viewing.

The movie follows the titular Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh) who is a private eye.  He used to be a sort of paranormal police man; someone whom everyone trusted to be impartial in conflicts between races.  Dylan retired from that work when he avenged his wife’s death at the hands of some vampires.  Now he is brought out of retirement by a young woman who needs assistance and his partner Marcus (Sam Huntington) who was recently turned into a zombie.

I honestly didn’t go into this movie looking to hate it.  I’ve had previous good luck with supernatural private eye bomb movies (can’t believe I listed that as a subgenre movie) with Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions, and small budget comedies like Tucker and Dale showed what some clever writers could dowith some studio freedom.  So who says we can’t have a campy Constantine?  Well, a campier version…bad analogy.  Let’s move on.

My main problem with Dylan Dog is that the writers don’t really know how to satirize the material.  Instead of going over the top with the noir feel, it instead feels like the writers made a really crappy noir detective story and threw in some lame humor to give the illusion of satire.  It is actually surprising how serious the writers take this crap.  I really don’t mean for this to be a pun but there is no life to anything.  Dylan is a flat, depressed character who goes through the motions of your most generic/stock/monotonous/nothing whodunnit you can think of.

Every once in a while the writers wake up out of their boredom induced coma and remember there is supposed to be comedy in this comedy movie which is when you get some mildly interesting ideas.  I got a brief chuckle when Dylan is fighitng werewolf Kurt Angle with silver brass knuckles, or when Marcus has to scrounge up body parts because his are either getting lost or obliterated.  But then the blandness comsumes us again and we are back to the main story.  Oh, you mean the vampires Dylan killed didn’t have anything to do with his wife’s death and was some nefarious plot?  I never saw that coming.  That is so interes-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Sorry, fell asleep again.  The main plot eventually degenerates into the even more simple and generic bad guy needs Super Special Thingy X to make new race of blah blah to conquer the world.

There’s just nothing special about this movie.  I like Brandon Routh but he is so hamstrung by this character and the writing he does nothing with it.  All he does is brood and sulk.  The love interest feels like an afterthought, the action is lackluster and poorly lit (as well as the whole movie for that matter), and the villain is a waste of space.  The only person who is allowed any kind of  personality is Marcus as the “comic relief“ but he is more annoying than relief.

You really didn’t need a big budget to make this a fun movie.  Hell, Buffy and Angel were prime examples of how to do fun supernatural schlock.  Angel is the perfect example as it is literally about a private eye in a demon infested world who helps the helpless.  This is no Angel, this is more like Blade: The Television Series.  Blech!

I wish there were more I could say about it, but there isn’t.  You have seen the plot a million times before, the action sucks, the writing sucks, the acting is bland, and the humor is non-existant.  In every category I could recommend you something so much better and no matter how bored you may be there is always something better than watching this movie.