All Nerdoms Sci-Fi

The Colony – We’ve seen it all before

I would like to officially call time on movie studios and TV companies making anything post-apocalyptic. It seems to have been all the rage, but enough is enough. And The Colony, out now on DVD, manages to take an interesting premise and make it as boring as hell. Please note, this review contains SPOILERS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys7-FhiyiFE

The set-up:

  • Ecological disaster on Earth.

  • Weather machines cause a new ice age.

  • The few survivors live in underground bunkers, mines and factories.

The good part:

The art direction in this film is superb. The effects are stunning, and the detail of the colony itself is spectacular. A lot of thought has been put in as to how humans would actually survive in such a situation, and we see all of this technical detail, from the hydroponic transplanting of tomato seeds to the melting of snow for water. It feels, in fact, like the latest Fallout video games. Swap the radioactive desert for a frozen wasteland and the look and feel of the interiors and costumes is the same. Even the music playing these locations has a classic jazz feel, adding to that Fallout vibe.

The bad part:

The story. It’s boring, in the sense that we have seen it all before:

  • The colony is tearing itself apart due to tension regarding disease.

  • A rescue call is received, and a party is sent out to a neighbouring colony.

  • Death and destruction is found.

  • CANNIBALS!

Yes… that’s right. The whole first 45 minutes, where nothing really happens, is a massive set-up for When Cannibals Attack! We suddenly go from stately landscapes to ultra-gory, as the rescue party must escape and return to their home while being followed by a horde of bloodthirsty mutants. Again, the Fallout theme is strong. There were times when I seemed to recognise parts of the game  and plot-line!

The Colony is not a bad film, per se, just one that really didn’t need to be made. The acting is fine: Laurence Fishburne is playing the part he always seems to play nowadays. Bill Paxton looks as rough as hell. (I really hope that was the make-up department.) Kevin Zegers, who seems to have been in loads of stuff, but nothing very memorable makes for a whiny hero that I didn’t really care about.

So… this is a watch-it-if-you-really-want-to review. But don’t go out of your way to see it, as you have probably seen it all before.