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Let me see if I got this straight: You want me to travel through a rip in time, find and repair a device that you lost and broke, all the while trying to avoid rampaging creatures from the future. That about sum it up?
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I often find SyFy movies to be mostly awful movies, but I keep watching them for the novelty value and also to see whether they are ever going to make a worthwhile movie to match their TV series. Well actually, they did do The Lost Future, I personally found that surprisingly good if imperfect. Morlocks sadly is to me another bad movie of theirs.
Is it their worst? No, Morlocks is nowhere near as unwatchable as Titanic II, Quantum Apocalypse, Battle of Los Angeles, Alien vs. Hunter and 2010: Moby Dick. However it is still not very good. It gets some good points for a good idea and decent turns from Christina Cole and Robert Picardo, though both have shown they can do better with better material.
Production values: Pretty lousy really. Morlocks is not the very worst-looking SyFy movie, that's possibly Titanic II, but there's nothing exceptional in how it looks. It is lit in a rather dull way, complete with haphazard editing. The CGI effects are awful, quite possibly the cheapest and most crude effects I've seen in a while, the Morlocks are horribly rendered and don't look scary at all. I do realise that Morlocks, like all of SyFy's resume, is a low-budget film, but I don't think that excuses a lack of quality in the finished products. Like I've said before, it seemed as though they were going for quantity in alternative to quality.
Music: Nothing special, in fact rather forgettable and obtrusive even at times. Also a lot of it is in a slow tempo/rhythm, giving a furthermore sluggish feel to the film.
Script: To be honest, I wasn't expecting good scripting from SyFy. Even in their few more tolerable efforts, it is one of the weaker assets. It was pretty much what I was anticipating really, cheesy dialogue, a lot of sci-fi babble and technical jargon. In regard to the latter, I got the feeling that even the writers didn't know what they were talking about. The whole "the Morlocks were here" exchange(especially the groan-worthy "because they're American? I don't know" bit) was particularly stupid.
Story: Loosely based on HG Wells' The Time Machine, the idea was really good and had the potential to be so. The execution however was bad, worse than bad more than often. The story is told in a very predictable and pedantic fashion, with none of the Morlocks scenes coming across as thrilling, and the build-ups have a complete lack of suspense. Also those looking for an adaptation of The Time Machine will be disappointed, it bears almost no similarity and is no different to almost everything else SyFy has done, complete with contrived motivations and an anti-climatic ending.
Direction: One word, incompetent. Far too laid back, with a lot of scenes lazily shot and staged in a clumsy and uninspired manner.
Characters: Typical SyFy clichés, the bad guy, heroic officer, beautiful damsel-in-distress and so forth.
Acting: Nothing great. Christina Cole is not great, but also not bad, at least she is more than a pretty face. Robert Picardo deserves better, but has some surprising subtlety in his performance. A decent actor David Hewlett may be, but can somebody give him a more interesting character to play, one that isn't too similar to everything else he's done, and one that enables him to do much less than moaning and whining.
Overall, not the worst I've seen from SyFy, but it really ruined the potential of one of the better ideas they have ever had. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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