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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A friend of mine picked this up on a whim in the bargain box at a local
video store, upon seeing the two stars' names together. We decided to
it and skewer it, keeping expectations with the IMDb rating of (at the
3.7 that it had. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised at the
a) consistent and correct science mentioned
b) evident chemistry between the two leads
c) several bits of fun dialog (both actors have a talent for understated comedy)
d) redemption of the arch-villians at the end (unexpected!)
e) the refreshing lack of the scientists-turned-superheroes motif usually found in these movies
f) passable SFX
g) the sexual tension despite the fact that it was never unresolved
It's not a stunner of a movie, by any means, but for a fun and refreshingly intelligent little diversion, it's definitely worth watching. I thought the second sex scene was unnecessary to the plot or the characterizations, but that was my only quibble. Otherwise, settle in and have a good time watching two fun actors from two different and strong sci-fi/fantasy shows play together in a new universe. Very enjoyable! :)
Okay, its got no budget, that said. Its pretty dang impressive. The chemistry between Amanda Tapping and Adrian Paul is endearing and believable. Their scenes together are utterly believable, and okay yeah the black hole doesn't actually appear until the last ten minutes or so of the flick and it's pretty silly but hey its a low budget flick, I mean if you pay attention there's only like three locations. That said, its a lot of fun, well worth renting or buying if its under $10. Plus for any Adrian Paul fans its well worth it as he has numerous entertaining one liners. So don't go into it expecting Armageddon and you're good to go. And Amanda Tapping has a great line, "I guess that's what you get when you build a relationship on sex and tuna fish sandwiches".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The void here was in the story. Decent cinematography and nice
locations give this film a much-needed boost. I love both Paul and
Tapping, but this was not their best work.
An engineer (Paul) and a physicist (Tapping), both instructors at a local university, must stop a mad scientist (McDowell) from performing an experiment which is likely to destroy the whole world. The experiment was performed once, and the world didn't end, but this time...look out. I know what you're thinking: 'Malcolm McDowell as the bad guy? Get out!' (and did you know his daddy was a damned dirty ape?)
The script was not bad and the acting and dialog was fairly good, this film just didn't feel right somehow. Maybe it was the inane plot twists?
Oh, huh, sorry you woke me up.
This movie sucked on all levels. If you went by the cover - you were turned down, if you went by the ideas - you were turned down, and if you went by the science - you were turned down.
Great, make a movie about black holes and then don't really show one until the final minutes of the movie and then it's nothing but a whole in the wall sucking up everything in the room.
If this movie had a bigger budget, maybe it would of been a lot more fun. Ms. Tapping was excellent, Adrian Paul was certainly very cute and funny in this movie. He had a lot of little one liners that I thought were just funny.
Other than those two, the black hole effects were yawnnnnsish. I saw a better black hole in the movie black hole with Max Von Snydow.
There's no black hole sucking down a city street as depicted on the
video box cover, so let's dismiss that from the start. There's
something sort of like that in the floor of a laboratory.
As it starts, a particle accelerator lab is doing an experiment that its chief does not approve of, but which the physicist played by Malcolm McDowell has somehow pulled rank and gotten through - though he is 5,000 miles away. Lucky for him he wasn't there, too, since everybody dies.
Years later, he's up to the same thing, expecting it to work this time (he's actually on site). The daughter of the chief who died in the previous experiment hopes to find proof of what happened, and learns it's about to happen again, only worse.
It's not a bad movie, though overlong. I thought on its apparent budget it did make good use of special effects. Not worth seeking out, though, unless you're a particular fan of any of the lead actors.
Without a doubt, one of the most unsatisfying movies I have seen in a very long time. No wonder it never made it in the theatres. The actors have nothing to do given the atrocious script. What could have been a good idea turns into a romp. The worst part is having started a black hole that will do something, the writers decide not to even bother with a conclusion. The conclusion we are left with is as if the story had never happened. It's a good job I watched it on my VCR so I could fast forward through nearly 90% of it.
I basically watched this movie for Amanda Tapping. I'm a huge fan of her. And I wasn't disappointed. I agree with some of the other comments that the storyline was disappointing, but what Amanda did with her character was quite amazing especially considering what she's been given. While her character in some ways reminded me of her Stargate SG-1 character, she gave her a completely different behaviour and much more softness - surpassed Adrian Paul and Malcolm MacDowell by far. If you're a fan of her, rent/buy it now. At least that's my suggestion.
The key to a successful screenplay is creating willing suspension of
disbelief. When a screenplay refers to the US Atomic Energy Commission
(a government agency which was disestablished over 30 years ago when
the US Department of Energy was created) as though it were still with
us, that destroys willing suspension of disbelief.
So does the movie's main premise that the bad guys are making black holes by colliding protons and anti-protons at high speed "to turn energy into matter." Collide matter into antimatter and you get an annihilation reaction, and the collective mass of the matter and antimatter becomes energy (apart from the possible creation of some neutrinos, possibly some pair-production events). Just the opposite of what the movie is telling us. (And the movie's premise isn't even as plausible as the far-fetched anxiety over the CERN Large Hadron Collider.)
This is high school physics information we're talking about here! The writers could have taken an undergraduate physics student out for pizza and gotten the true facts for the price of the meal - or just used their good friend Google.
Worse, the dialogue is predictable and the movie just creeps along in that made-for-TV-hack science fiction way. The characters are neither memorable nor very sympathetic. Malcolm McDowell, playing the bad guy-in-chief, is a BORING bad guy with none of the intensity he brought to every other film of his I've seen. Adrian Paul (of The Highlander TV series and other cheap SF movies, Dead Men Can't Dance, among others) is a self-parody as a physicist, complete with a suit made from car seat- cover fabric and glasses swiped from the set of Revenge of the Nerds.
Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1) is hemmed in by a horrible script in her role as the helpless heroine whose nuclear physicist dad dies, bringing her into danger. They went all the way back to the 1950s for that hackneyed plot device, the "murdered good scientist's vulnerable daughter who must be rescued by the male lead". And the trip wasn't worth it. They didn't even play it for laughs.
The producers did demonstrate the power of a dead script to subdue every bit of acting ability in the cast of a film. Adrian Paul has had a run of bad luck in this regard - first "Dead Men Can't Dance," then this. I hope some better scripts come his way, because he was very good in the Highlander television series.
Avoid this movie as you would a rabid dog. Walk across the street from it when you see it. Find something else to do besides watch it. It's a worthy bookend to that other Adrian Paul-starring turkey, "Dead Men Can't Dance." They need to be used to keep uneven tables from wobbling at the video store, or their DVDs recycled as targets at a skeet range - maybe used as part of a mobile in a kindergarten art class. Just don't play the things.
...but it was poorly fleshed out. The writers of the movie
obviously had a
technical background, because they were pretty close to reality about
hole physics. And the idea about what could possibly happen if someone
created a black hole right on earth, is a very fascinating question.
Unfortunately, using this idea as the basis for a movie plot by itself,
doesn't seem to be enough, so they threw in a romance, a bunch of
I'd love to see this idea resurrected in some other, higher-budget movie, one day. But then in such a movie they may get the scientific principles wrong, but come up with better romances and political murders.
The only reason I watched this film was to see Amanda Tapping. I'm a huge fan of her on Stargate SG-1 and in some ways, she's playing much the same character. The plot line moves along too slowly for my taste and the acting is, at best, mediocre. I've seen worse movies, but this wasn't does rate very high with me.
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