Sony // 2004 // 106 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 23rd, 2009
Believing is the only way out.
Just don't believe in this movie.
It's the future, and things are looking bad for United States. A fella called "The Leader" has assumed power and outlawed all kinds of fun stuff like DVD and Christianity, while forcing civilians and military personnel to take orders from really pale people. In fact, virtually everyone has a microchip device embedded under their skin (the titular "mark") so they can be traced and controlled.
Rebels are incarcerated and decapitated. One such rebel is Tom (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen), a smuggler sold out by his ex-wife and pressured into making a deal to go undercover in prison and sniff out the source of the resistance. Some other stuff happens after that, but I don't care and neither will you.
Ach. For any good fruit well-put-together Christian movies have borne, a heaping helping of warmed-over dog crap like this poisons it. Six: The Mark Unleashed manages to make stuff as potentially engrossing as the apocalypse and the Antichrist, more boring than a rigorous session of hedge pruning.
In honor of the Antichrist theme, let's take a look at this release in similar terms.
Six: The Mark Unleashed is:
The whole thing moves along at the pace of sedated camel and, despite the action-packed-looking cover and a tagline like "The Edge of Armageddon," you can expect to find yourself nodding off more than a few times during the it-feels-way-longer-than-106-minutes run time. Part of the reason is because the film is so dialogue-heavy. Actually, that's all of the reason...and the fact that the dialogue is so stultifying doesn't help anyone.
Everything is implied and nothing is shown. Even when the story calls for violence, like the final sequence when our hero is facing the bad guys and opens fires and...the action is told in a series of over-stylized stills. Entertaining!
I'm all for a Christian film laying down some Gospelizzle, but Six slathers it on with a paint-roller. This is a borderline devotional DVD, like something you would find in a folder of materials to take home and work through with your small group. I tend to like the more subtle approaches in Bible-themed films, convinced that the message hits harder when juxtaposed with an efficiently-running movie. Not happening here.
This is it. I don't care how much you might agree with the beliefs espoused; if they're surrounded by a dumbass, tedious movie -- which Six absolutely is -- there is no point. Stay the heck away from this brain-stab.
The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and 2.0 stereo (both of which perform okay), plus a small selection of extras -- director's commentary, making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and blooper reel.
If he had a choice between being cast into the lake of burning sulfur for 1,000 years or watching this movie a couple of times, I'm pretty sure Lucifer would happily embrace the former.
Guilty. Take me Lord!
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes