Serving as a prequel to the MASS EFFECT game series,"Red Sand" is set 35 years before the time of Commander Shepard and tells the story of the discovery of ancient ruins on Mars. Left ... See full summary »
In the land of Orlais, where battles are fought with swords and magic, a young heroine rises as templars, mages, and dragons clash. Cassandra, a brash and beautiful Seeker, must stop a ... See full summary »
J. Michael Tatum,
Based on the much-anticipated EA videogame Dead Space 2, Dead Space: Aftermath is a fast-pased, horrifying thrill ride that follows the surviving ship crew members of the USG O'Bannon. The ... See full summary »
In 1939, young Professor Bruttenholm destroyed Erzsebet Ondrushko, a female vampire who bathed in the blood of innocents to stay young. Now someone in upstate New York is trying to bring ... See full summary »
Commander Shepard, a military hero, embarks upon an epic, galaxy-wide journey with his team, to track down and bring infamous Saren Arterius to justice, facing insurmountable odds and lethal enemies along the way.
An untold chapter in the Mass Effect saga, following the early career of Alliance Marine, James Vega, as he leads a squad of elite special forces into battle against a mysterious alien threat known as The Collectors. Stationed at a colony in a remote star system, Vega and his troops must protect the inhabitants from an invasion of the deadly insectoid warriors determined to collect the population for unknown purposes. Soon after the attack, Vega's commanding officer falls in battle, forcing the young officer to embrace the responsibility of leadership for the colony's survival. Having idolized Earth's greatest hero and warrior, Commander Shepard (the central character in the Mass Effect video games), the young and idealistic Vega must now make life and the death decisions that will effect not only the lives of his squad, but the lives of every person in the colony - all of whom he has sworn to protect. Fighting valiantly for every life in his hands, Vega soon discovers the path of ... Written by
Fails to please both the fans of the game and the newcomers
Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is by no means the worst video game movie adaptation I've seen in my life, but it's the only one we have of the Mass Effect universe, a game series published by Bioware. The problem is the quality of that game series. Mass Effect is all about the story. It is a vast, epic saga of galaxy in peril and is to be counted, at least in my opinion, among the greatest of space operas, along with Star Wars and Star Trek. So you can imagine that in my honest opinion a cheap anime-style direct-to-video tie-in doesn't quite cut it.
Taking place during the events of the second game and telling the backstory of one James Vega, an eventual teammate in the third game, the movie admittedly has a few good things going for it. The character animations and designs, for one, are mostly pretty good. They look like the characters from the game, the facial expressions are evocative and the action scenes work. I have no idea why they made the krogans and the collectors appear almost twice as big as they are in the games, but that's a nitpick.
The ending is also surprisingly good, capturing the essence of the Mass Effect games and their tendency to make you face extremely tough choices, usually between the good of the individual and the good of the society.
But then, the downsides. While the characters are animated decently enough, given the budget, the backgrounds are pure guano. They're cheap CGI garbage, clash horribly with the actual characters and don't convince for a second. Every single background in the actual games was more convincing than anything in this film. And the first one of those came out five years before this film.
The story is also lame, aside from the ending. It shows us nothing new of the Mass Effect universe, thus failing to please the existing fans, and it is pretty much inscrutable by anyone who has not played the games. There are few cutscenes to the previous events, and they're so quick that they don't help much. And it's not like it would have been hard to include a brief segment in the beginning. Like: "In 2147 humanity found a cache of alien technology on Mars. A decade later they managed to join the larger galactic society, which had flourished in the ruins of the civilization that came before them, the Protheans. Later this new galactic society was threatened by an ancient threat, known as the Reapers, led by Sovereign, a dreadnought spaceship of vast technological superiority and might. It was eventually beaten by the joint taskforce led by Commander Shepard, but his warnings about the eventual Reaper invasion were dismissed. And now he is believed dead." See? Not that hard, and would have made the whole movie infinitely more watchable to newcomers.
So yeah, while Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is not as bad as it could have been, it's certainly not good either. That's mostly due to the limitation of the budget, I believe, but it still means that I cannot in good conscience recommend this to anyone. Not fans or newcomers. If you're a die-hard fan of the Mass Effect universe, you're going to see it anyway, in which case I can say that at least there's some good in it, but trust me, it's not worth it.
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