Every couple of years the movie industry is rocked so hard by something new that it’s impact forever changes the way we make films. Citizen Kane did it, so did Jurassic Park, and even 300 did it. Unfortunately for us 300 did it in such a way that people overlooked its biggest problem story and character development to oogle the visuals. I know because I did it as well. Whats the fallout of this? Movies coming out incredibly quick trying to mimic the success of 300. Enter Mutant Chronicles. A movie so interesting visually that someone forget to pay attention to that other minor detail.. making a good overall movie.
The idea of this giant machine unleashing these mutants which will wipe out mankind is a great concept. A world taken over by corporate interests and split by these different factions interesting as well. A religious group keeping watch that this evil machine might not start again, but knowing that it will and wipe out man unless the chosen one can stop it is always a cool idea but boring from its overuse. Assembling a group of soldiers together as our last hope on Earth to go after this evil, we haven’t seen that before EVER. Well here is where some clever writing and story telling comes in to play because if we somehow connect with these individuals on a personal level we won’t care about the weakness of the story. Don’t hold your breathe for it because it never comes.
Remember in Aliens when you meet the group of Marines and right off the bat you feel like you know every single one of them? That is the kind of personal relationship that you want with these soldiers. So that as they get picked off one by one you begin to lose hope that anyone is going to make it out alive. They all prefer to be the cool, quite types that are being pushed in to talking by the female soldier who can’t shut up (stereotype). Oh wait there is the other hispanic soldier that can’t shut up with his bad jokes and not to mention his tendency to curse in spanish because its funnier (stereotype). Did I mention that they went with your stereotypical characters who really have nothing in common? As opposed to a group of realistic people who create a common bond based on their extreme circumstance and common goal: saving mankind due to their love for it no matter how wide or narrow that love is displayed in their personal relationships and actions. Oh yea that’s right I did say there was no character development.
Oh and remember in Aliens when they go in to the hive and there are aliens EVERYWHERE? That was scary. I mean how were they ever going to get out alive. Suddenly you start to wonder if they really are going up against THE unstoppable force. Well don’t worry about that in this movie. The most important place is the machine and there were maybe 30 mutants there. Instead of the group of mutants that seem unstoppable with their
speed and sheer brutality in the beginning of the movie they seem more like a handful of mutants with weird looking arms.
So some cool visuals mixed with stereotypical undeveloped characters and a unimposing villain makes for a weak movie that hopefully goes straight to DVD. Oh and probably one of the biggest waste of a good cast with Thomas Jane, Ron Pearlman, Benno Furrman, and John Malkovich. By the way supposedly there is only a rough cut out there. If this was a rough cut I would say there is little that can be done to save this movie based on the idea that rough cuts usually means the film will be trimmed down with some rearranging of shots. It will need alot more depth added in.