Life Size Entertainment // 2009 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 20th, 2010
Living forever takes less time than you think.
A micro-budgeted sci-fi actioner attempts to compensate for its vanishing funding with sexy camera effects and Super Serious Acting.
When your clone has gone AWOL, you call the best in the business: Cane, a badass interstellar bounty hunter who specializes in retrieving runaway genetic photocopies. By his side is Angela, a woman with a robot hand. Their latest job has them working for a guy named Montserrat, whose clone had run off and is threatening to nuke the planet or something.
Hey, I'll be fair. For what director Andrew Bellware is trying to do -- namely craft a high-concept sci-fi action film with genuinely hefty set-pieces, on a budget of what likely amounted to my fifth grade weekly allowance -- he doesn't come off too bad. if you can get past the brutal special effects -- and make no mistake, they are brutal -- a sci-fi fan might find some appreciation for Bellware's little opus.
The plot is familiar, but given an okay edge with a universe and mythology to support it: a gritty space guy navigates a trippy world full of bars populated by space weirdos and scantily-clad space-women looking for a dangerous bad guy. In this case, the bad guy is a clone, though, for all intents and purposes, he can pass as just Generic Space Dickhead. And he really is a dickhead. If the economy visual effects are enough to prove you're watching a micro-budgeted feature, the guy playing the heavy who chews through his dialogue like a piranha on a Porterhouse certainly will.
On the way to the final confrontation, our heroes land at several seedy sci-fi establishments, and to the production designer's credit, they look believably intergalactic. This quieter, simpler stuff, when Cane and Angela engage with the locals is where Clone Hunter finds something of a groove. Unfortunately, a big action scene is usually around the corner and that means one thing: train wreck.
Look, I know it's not fair; if you don't have the coin, it's tough to stage a believable hover-bike chase sequence. That's the central action sequence in the film and it's awful -- cheesy, low-res green screen effects shot in stuttering animation, ending with a stock explosion. The opening scene with the poorly rendered clone hunting spaceship herking and jerking around in orbit will give you a sense of the crap that lies ahead.
The DVD: 2.35 anamorphic widescreen, 5.0 Dolby Digital surround, commentary, a director's interview, photos, and outtakes.
Only for die-hards who wish to cheer a brother in the fight to bring sci-fi to the masses, funding be damned.
Guilty. But if it means anything, I feel sort of bad about it.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Life Size Entertainment
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Photo Gallery