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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster
Icon Home Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 15
Available 15 February 2010

A military lieutenant wakes from cryogenic sleep aboard a spacecraft which appears to have lost all power. Aided by his superior officer, he starts the long journey to the bridge (by-passing sealed doors and crawling through ventilation shafts) to discover what has happened. Unfortunately, the effects of the sleep means he can't remember anything about the ship or its mission. When he finds the bodies of operatives belonging to a follow-up task force to his own, it becomes alarmingly obvious that something is awry. He doesn't know the half of it; a large contingent of violent mutant bipeds has overrun the ship. The reactor is on a critical countdown, and the cargo consists of the last vestiges of the human race. Hope of survival appears impossibly thin, and the future of mankind hangs in the balance. However, help comes from the most unexpected quarters...

The pull here as far as actor appeal goes is Dennis Quaid - the only big name in attendance. However, the vast majority of the action and plot centres on the 'soldier boy' lieutenant, as he makes his way initially to the bridge, but getting diverted to engineering when he learns that the reactor is going critical. The idea here seems to be to explore the evolution of a seemingly abandoned craft. The mutants themselves look great; they are cleverly depicted in quick movements and editing cut-aways, so that we have to wait until at least halfway through the film before we see them in their entirety. It's at this point that they strongly resemble the carnivorous attackers from John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars - particularly the warrior-like leader.

The lighting is kept very low, which comes as both a blessing and a curse; keeping dangers half hidden to the detriment of actually seeing what is going on. The special effects are saved for the shot of the spacecraft at the beginning, and the ejection of the life pods to the surface at the end. I can appreciate the attempt to do something different with the sci-fi horror genre, but ultimately it only amounts to a run around.


Ty Power

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