The Mutant Chronicles (2008)
Main cast: Thomas Jane (Major Mitch Hunter), Ron Pearlman (Brother Samuel), Anna Walton (Severian), Devon Aoki (Valerie Duval), Pras Michel (Captain Michaels), Steve Toussaint (Capt John Maguire), Tom Wu (Juba Kim Wu), Luis Echegaray (Jesus de Barrera), Benno Fürmann (Lt Maximillian von Steiner), Sean Pertwee (Capt Nathan Rooker), and John Malkovich (Constantine)
Director: Simon Hunter
The Mutant Chronicles starts out with a bang. We are now in 2707, where the world is now divided into four big territories ruled by four warring "Corporations". It is during one such battle somewhere in Germany that an explosion causes a mysterious construct to break open, thus releasing the plague known as the Machine upon humanity.
Okay, time for some history lesson: the Machine is this unexplained object from outer space that first arrived on Earth a few hundred years prior to this. The Machine captured humans and actually put them in a manufacture line, creating undead zombies with a blade for one hand (think Baraka from the Mortal Kombat games). These "Necrozombies" killed more people so that the Machine could make more Necrozombies from those corpses, and on and on until a hero managed to get enough people together and seal this Machine under the ground.
Now, the Machine has been released and the Necrozombies are taking over. Mankind is doomed... until Brother Samuel, a priest from the religious order founded by our hero that was mentioned in the previous paragraph, decides to find a group of valiant men and women to destroy the Machine before it destroys humanity completely.
So here we have a gang of one-dimensional action figures to the rescue. We know Mitch Hunter will never die in this movie because he is played by Thomas Jane, the most highly paid actor among all the cast members here. We have the token Black guy in Captain Michaels, the token funny Latin American fellow in Jesus de Barerra, the token "rival of the hero from the other side who end up working alongside him" stereotype in Lt Maximillian von Steiner, the Asian bloke in Juba Kim Wu, the sexy pouting Asian babe in Valerie "Sorry, Boys, No T&A Today" Duval, and the quiet mysterious kung-fu babe in Severian. Oh, and because he moonlights as Hellboy in better times, Brother Samuel gets to swing a sword once or twice too.
The set-up of this movie leading to the formation of the gang is pretty good. The special effects are nice to look at, the Necrozombies provide plenty of delicious gore, and the lore and history all seem very intriguing indeed. But once the gang descends into the ground to seek out the Machine, this movie turns into an incoherent mess as the script stops caring about the story and becomes more focused on finding cartoon methods to kill off its characters. By the time the movie hits its climatic scene, it is completely ripping off scenes from, oops, I mean paying homage to the Sony Computer Entertainment's Playstation 2 game God Of War.
This movie has some great potential, but it has become completely rubbish by the time the movie mercifully ends. What could have been brainlessly fun entertainment turns out to be merely brainless. Anna Walton and Ron Pearlman manage to regain some of their collective dignities by reuniting in Hellboy II: The Golden Army. While that one isn't what I'd consider a great movie, it's much more entertaining than this movie, so maybe you should watch that one instead.
This movie at Amazon UK
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