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Case Number 19520

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Clone Hunter

Life Size Entertainment // 2009 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 20th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson had to hunt his own clone last weekend. Little guy broke out of his cage again.

The Charge

Living forever takes less time than you think.

Opening Statement

A micro-budgeted sci-fi actioner attempts to compensate for its vanishing funding with sexy camera effects and Super Serious Acting.

Facts of the Case

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.

The Evidence

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.

Closing Statement

Only for die-hards who wish to cheer a brother in the fight to bring sci-fi to the masses, funding be damned.

The Verdict

Guilty. But if it means anything, I feel sort of bad about it.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 75
Acting: 60
Story: 60
Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: Life Size Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Action
• Science Fiction

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Interview
• Outtakes
• Photo Gallery

Accomplices

• IMDb








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