future will be nasty, brutish, and snowy.
To combat global warming huge weather controlling machines were
invented, but tragically they got stuck on snow—or something like that. On the positive
side, summers in New York have become almost bearable. Cash out your 401K’s now, because if that all
weren’t bad enough, cannibalism starts to spike in Jeff Renfroe’s The Colony (trailer here), which opens
tomorrow in New York.
its pretty cold out there. Only scattershot
handfuls of humanity survive in underground colonies, hoping to somehow outlast
the big freeze. Given their cramped
living conditions, Flu has become a matter of life and death. Basically, if you cough, you are sent out to
die. The overzealous Mason is the one in
charge of “quarantine,” a fact that does not sit well with Sam, the sensitive
handyman. He takes the issue up with
Briggs, Colony 7’s commander, who inconveniently has more pressing concerns.
sister colony sent a distress signal, ominously followed by radio silence, so
Briggs takes Sam and an easily winded teenager out to investigate. After making the arduous journey past a
series of surprisingly cool looking matte paintings, the expeditionary party
discovers their allied colony was over-run by a pack of cannibals. Despite
descending into savagery, they prove to be dashed difficult to kill.
is rather ironic this tale is climate catastrophe is Canadian-made, because the
weather will look rather temperate to half the country. Yet, the Northern location shoots, filmed at
an old mouth-balled Canadian NORAD facility, are what work best for Colony.
Likewise, the hulking frost-encrusted weather machines are quite striking
looking. Unfortunately, the script
(credited to Renfroe and three others) feels like it was cobbled together from
Roland Emmerich’s slush pile.
a derivative film, Laurence Fishburne’s performance as Briggs is largely
derived from his work in the superior Event
Horizon, but frankly, that is not entirely bad. Similarly, Bill Paxton recycles his “game
over, man” persona for Mason, but with less successful results. Kevin Zegers and Charlotte Sullivan are
pretty bland as Sam and his potential love interest, Kai the seed archivist and
computer specialist, but at least her character listens to Ellington, so you have
to tip your hat to that. Considering Dru
Viergever’s character is only credited as “Feral Leader,” it is probably safe
to assume not much of an awards campaign is being planned on his behalf. Nevertheless, he certainly looks the part.
call The Colony a meathead movie
would over-praise it. Visually, it
accomplishes much with its limited resources, but never rises above mediocrity
in any other criteria. Just kind of
whatever (at best), it is hard to imagine anyone will pay Manhattan ticket
prices to see it when The Colony opens
tomorrow (9/20) in New York at the AMC Empire.
Labels: Apocalyptic cinema, Bill Paxton, Canadian Cinema, Cannibalism on film, Laurence Fishburne