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DVD Review

DVD cover

Far Cry


Starring: Til Schweiger, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Michael Paré and Clint Howard
High Fliers Films
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 07 September 2009

Concerned by the sudden cessation of information from her Uncle Max, who is employed as a soldier of fortune on a guarded Island, Valerie, an investigative reporter, determines to get to the bottom of what is going on and what has happened to Max. She seeks out Jack Carver, one time soldier and friend of Max, but when they get there they discover that the evil Doctor Krieger is creating mutated super soldiers, and one of them is Max...

Far Cry (2008 - 1 hr, 31 min, 05 sec) is an adaptation of a console game by director Uwe Boll, who has made a career out of such adaptations with variable results.

Boll usually comes in for a lot of criticism regarding the quality of his films, to which he usually replies with vitriol and offers of boxing matches. I kid you not, he invited five critics to get into the ring with him and won all his matches, so obviously a great boxer, but is he a good director?

I guess it depends what you want out of a film. With Boll you’ll get a no nonsense action movie, with limited and mostly absent character development and plot holes you could drive a truck through. So how does he get respectable actors to work for him? A lot of the problems with Boll are that he has come to represent everything which the more intellectual critics hate; therefore most of his work is demonised before it even hits the screen, especially his unapologetic stance that he makes films to make money and not to make art.

In this fairly loose adaptation of the well known first person shooter, Boll has taken the basic elements of the film to create a pretty good ‘B’ movie.

In the first act we get to meet Valerie (Emmanuelle Vaugier) as she gets Jack (Til Schweiger) to take her to the mysterious Island looking for Max (Ralf Moeller). Valerie is the epitome of the hard nosed journalist, though you just know she has a soft side. Jack, on the other hand, is a hard drinking ex-soldier, who is apparently hiding from something. This is never explored or explained, hence the problem with characterisation and development, there is pretty much none on show.

Meanwhile on the Island Krieger (Udo Kier) is having a few problems, as his new creations think nothing of killing Col. Parker’s (Craig Fairbass) security force which does not impress, nor are Krieger’s supposed military backers, in the form of General Roderick (Don S. Davis), who pulls the plug on the super soldier program. To say least Krieger takes this setback badly and uses his soldiers against Valerie and Jack. Being a pretty ‘paint by numbers’ script no one is surprised when it all goes wrong and all the super soldiers get loose, rampaging through the complex in an orgy of violence. Krieger tries to escape with the help of his super sexy assassin Katja Chernov (Natalia Avelon).

With the characters being little more than two dimensional cannon fodder, none of the actors really disgrace themselves, but then few of them shine either, there is just so little in the script for them to work with. The film does try to introduce elements of humour, which sits a bit uncomfortably in the overall narrative. Some of the jokes work better than others, but you can’t help think that this whole humorous side should have been removed.

The disc was disappointing, though I should report that this was a check disc, so I have no idea what the final product will be like. The picture was clean and clear with an aspect ratio of 16x9 and only a stereo audio track which did nothing to add to the action sequences. There were no extras or menus.

On the plus side of the film, once you get past the setup and the slow middle section and get to the action, the film really starts to kick butt and the last twenty minutes of the movie cranks up the excitement to a very satisfying level. As a film designed to be shown in cinemas, it’s uneven and average, but it would have made a cracking TV film.


Charles Packer

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