DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

The Mutant Chronicles - DVD Review


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"Never judge a book by its cover," goes that old saying conceived, methinks, a lot for those who may be harshly assessed based on some unpleasant outward appearance. But, you know, I think it just might be an increasingly popular warning in the film biz for projects with some attractive ingredients that might not live up to their promise... or without the sugar-coating big a big ole pile of stinky poopy.

The Mutant  ChroniclesBased on a role playing game rather popular from its creation in the 90's, Mutant Chronicles is set in an alternate reality set 700 years hence, where people still dress like it's the 40's, ships are powered by steam, and the world is a war-infested shithole because of greedy corporations. A religious man in primary-coloured jedi robes (Ron Perlman) is privy to an ancient text that might save humanity from some nasty mutants that are spawned from an ancient ‘machine' sent to Earth to make us like them. He assembles a group of ragtag expert killers and they fly off to save the world.

From the implausible premise (that a technologically advanced, space-faring race would land at the end of the Ice Age and not be able to thwart us) to the risible ending, this film never finds a moment of emotional resonance/relatability, nor offers a microbe of logic to help us along its loud and incoherent way. The characters are the worst kind of cliché ridden, uninteresting tripe one could conceive of, the narrative is nothing better than a long-winded insert for a computer game, and the effect is as mind-numbing as size 13 boot to the back of the head.

What boggles the mind is some of the players enlisted for this project. John Malkovich, Ron Perlman, and Thomas Jane all embarrass themselves for what one hopes was a lovely paycheque. Devon Aoki, always pretty, always a good indicator the movie will suck, (with the exception of â"Sin City') does her usual ‘deadly chick thing... and looks pretty.

The special effects are copious, and at times very impressive. The director, Simon Hunter, becomes enamoured with the CGI tracking shot through or out a window to the point of boring repetition. A lot of shots look no better than the aforementioned computer game ‘dramatic inserts', but there are certainly moments of visual splendour to behold. Where he fails dismally is at action, any type of pacing, any sense of foreboding (considering its an apocalyptic story, no one, including the audience, gives a toss) or in short, making a coherent story come to pass. Action scenes are badly staged, paced, and after the umpteenth severed limb or splatter of CGI blood, I yawned more than a kitten fed a date rape drug. There is no pacing it's just all bad dialogue and more action scenes. The antagonists are like a bronze-aged Borg, unoriginal and not utilized in any effective way regardless.

The rest of the film, music, sound effects, etc, are as underwhelming as the rest of the project. With that old saying now ringing in my ears at a deafening volume, I implore you: save that couple of hours of your life, this book's cover lied its ass off!


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
1 Star
4 stars
DVD Experience
2.5 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: Spanish

Language and Sound: Closed Captioned; English: Dolby Digital 5.1 English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary.

Supplements:

Commentary

  • Feature-length commentary track with director Simon Hunter and actor Ron Perlman.

Featurettes

  • "The Making of 'Mutant Chronicles'" (107:29)
  • "Interviews with Cast and Crew" (25:37)
  • "Promotional Teaser Short Film" (7:16)
  • "Making of 'Promotional Teaser Short Film'" (3:27)
  • "HDNet: A Look at 'Mutant Chronicles'" (4:42)
  • "Storyboards"
  • "Visual Effects" (2:49)
  • "Comic-Con Panel Q&A" (11:37)
  • "Webisodes" (18:08)

Deleted Scenes (07:50)

Photo Galleries

Storyboards

Concept Art

Previews

Number of Discs: 2 with Keepcase Packaging

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