Friday, February 26, 2016

Red Faction: Origins (2011)

Directed by: Michael Nankin
Run time: 88 minutes

Red Faction: Origins is a movie adaption of the video game Red Faction Guerrilla.  The game is centered around Eric Hammerguy, a guy who reluctantly frees Mars from the tyrannical rule of the Earth Defense Forces.  He does this task by destroying everything Earth related with a variety of weapons and a mining hammer. Since this game did better than the other two Red Faction games, so a movie adaption was just a matter of time.

The starts twenty five years after the events of the game. We catch up with Eric Hammerguy,  who is now a drunk hero of Mars. In news broadcast info dump we learn that few years after freeing Mars that Eric had his wife and daughter murdered by the Marauders. The Marauders are the other faction that control Mars.  The best to describe them is Hollywood's idea of Native Americans mixed with the Fremen from Dune. They dislike Earth, the Red Faction, and firearms, and will kick thirty two kinds of ass when put into a fight.

Eric meanwhile is drinking in the only bar on Mars, sick of hearing about how much of a hero he was, and is annoyed with another drunk who is a fan of him. So he fixes the one problem he can do something about and punches out the drunk.  This leads to a brawl that leads out of the bar and becomes the problem of officer Eric Hammerguy Jr. Who arrests his dad, again, for drunk and disorderly conduct. It should be pointed out that the Red Faction are a sort of militia police force.

The next day, Eric Hammerguy Jr.'s boss smoothed things over with the bar so his dad can keep drinking there. He also wants Eric Hammerguy Jr. to take a salvage party out to crash site. Part of a Earth battleship that was blown up twenty five years ago is crashing on to the surface of Mars. The problem is that the ship fragment is crashing in an area that is contested by both the Red Faction and the Marauders. Another problem is that Eric Hammerguy Jr. doesn't know much about valuable Earth technology. Fortunately the Red Faction has hired an Earth born technology genius. Her name is Ms. BornonEarth and she is expert in all things technology, science, and reminding everyone that she is was born on Earth and how no one trusts her.

Eric Hammerguy Jr's team is the last to arrive where the ship crashed. The Marauders got to the crash site first and were killed by the mysterious soldiers in white battle fatigues. Eric Jr. and Ms. BornonEarth catch up with with one of the soldiers in white and it just so happens to be Eric Jr.'s sister. The movie then becomes a hunt for Eric Hammerguy Jr.'s sister across the surface of Mars. Along the way Eric Jr. runs into and befriends a couple of Marauders who are on a quest of plot convenience and annoyance. Together they solve the mystery of the soldiers in white, find Eric Hammerguy Jr.'s sister, expose old man Faust as the ghost of the haunted Mars amusement park, and have a positive ending. Though several people die to obtain it.

I am of two minds on this movie. On the one hand, this is the best video game adaption movie I have seen in awhile. Thought the movie has a limited budget it makes good use of it's CGI and practical effects. The other side, the plot, while faithful to the game, is lazily written, full of one or less dimension characters, and suffers from It's a SyFy/Video Game Movie So Who Gives A Fuck syndrome.

If you are a fan of the Red Faction Guerrilla game and trashy scf fi movies, this is a movie you will want to find. Otherwise, it is a great movie to have on in the background.

MVT: The CGI work in the film, while cheap, is well done and is the best thing in the movie.

Make or Break: Though Mars is smaller in size than the Earth, Mars has roughly similar same amount of land mass as there is dry land on Earth.Yet the writer of this movie managed to make Mars feel like a quarter of the size of the United States. So rather than having a wide open planet, it instead feels like small place with a settlements named after Robert A Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.

Score: 3.2 out of 10

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