Friday, July 4, 2014

Ultramarine: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie (2010)

                   " the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. And Hello Kitty"

Warhammer 40,000 is a war game were people spend a lot of money on interesting looking model soldiers and then stage battles with other people who also spent a lot of money on these models. Then every six months the company that makes changes to the game that forces you to buy more stuff and this cycle keeps going until you get tired of it and sell your collection off to the next generation of suckers. The setting is the far future where anything or anyone that can use a weapon is out to kill everything and anyone else. It is grim, dark, and full of interesting stories and sadly this movie is not one of them.

After the dull intro that points out who you are to cheer for and who to hate, the movie shows Brother Grizzled Captain and Brother Wants to be Grizzled Captain are dueling to see who is the bigger dick. Brother Grizzled Captain wins and the Captain sets up the plot and the Chekhov's props for the film. On the planet McGuffin 42 there is a relic of such strategic importance that a thousand space marines from The Emperor's Gold Shirts have been assigned to guard this thing.

The forces of chaos have found McGuffin 42 and wiped out The Emperor's Gold Shirts guarding this relic. So Brother Grizzled Captain, Brother Wants to be Grizzled Captain, John Hurt playing Doctor McCoy as a space marine, Brother Sidekick, and ten other space marines that are puzzled that they have been given red shirts to wear under their armour.

The rest of this movie is nothing more than an ad for Warhammer 40,000 and strongly inspired by a lot of World War Two movies. There is really nothing more I can say about the plot without spoiling it. So I am going to move on to the technical parts of the movie.

First thing about this film is that it is completely devoid of female characters. Now I understand that the models and art work that this movie is based on show space marines as male. There are female characters with the other factions that could have been brought in to the movie but instead they opted for a sausage fest. Next on my list is the characters or the lack of characters in this movie. There are few things to tell the space marines apart but if you weren't paying close attention or drinking instead of taking notes, there is a good chance you have no idea what is going on or why you should care about these space marines.

The audio quality is complete crap as well. A lot of the audio sounds like the actors are mumbling some of the time so trying to hear the dialog can be difficult. Mind you what little dialog there is really not worth hearing anyways because it is mostly badly written military drama and game speak. In the game, everyday speech requires making reference to the emperor at least once a sentence or you can be found guilty of heresy. So as a nod to the numerous novels about the Warhammer 40,000 universe this was added. Also the screen play was written by Dan Abnett who has written several of these novels.

I feel this movie was never intended for people who were not already fans of Games Workshop to begin with. Even as someone who played the game, I found myself lost or not sure what the hell was happening on screen. This movie is more an advertisement than anything else. Avoid it if you have a choice and if you don't have a choice stop for drinks first, it helps.

MVT: Not a damn thing.

Make or Break: What breaks this movie for me is the utter lack exposition. It just assumes that it is as universal as Star Wars and just runs with it.

Score: 0.5 out of 10

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