Saturday, September 28, 2013
The Colony (2013)(Spoiler Review)
**This review contains spoilers**
In the future, survivors of the next ice age are forced to live in an underground outpost. Led by a former Army solider named Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) with the help of his lieutenant, Mason (Bill Paxton), Colony 7 is running low on resources, while trying to contain the outbreak of a deadly flu. Briggs believes in a more diplomatic approach to handling the flu, including a sealed quarantine ward for the sick, and if the sick don’t show any signs of improvement, Briggs allows the choice of execution, or a long walk in the endless snowstorm. Mason on the other hand, believes in more drastic measures by skipping straight to the execution without any discussions, and no questions asked.
But Briggs focuses his attention on another problem, when Colony 5 doesn’t return daily check-up calls. After numerous failed attempts to receive a transmission, Briggs assembles a team including Sam (Kevin Zegers), Graydon (Atticus Dean Mitchell), and himself to investigate the problems with Colony 5. Reluctantly, Briggs leaves Mason in charge of the colony. With no one to control or put a stop to Mason’s tirades, Sam’s girlfriend, Kai (Charlotte Sullivan) fears the worst for sick members of Colony 7.
At Colony 5’s outpost, the team finds a frightened survivor, and things only get worse, when Colony 7’s team uncovers the horrifying reason behind Colony 5’s decimated population: with no more food left, Colony 5 turned to cannibalism to survive. Briggs, Sam, and Graydon try to escape the gruesome scene of the messy killing floor, but the odds aren’t in their favor, as they outrun and fight off the attacks from Colony 5’s mutated cannibals.
Capable cast at best. Bill Paxton delivers the best performance, as the grizzled and pissed off veteran, who seemingly hates everyone. I got the sense Fishburne was just phoning it in for the most part, but Zegers and Sullivan do their best with strong efforts. Can’t say too much about the leader (Dru Viergever) of the cannibals, because his character doesn’t receive any spoken dialogue, just a lot of growling and screaming.
Unanswered questions are a big problem for The Colony. So the outbreak of a deadly flu is the main concern at first, but once they introduce the cannibals, the epidemic of the flu becomes insignificant? Okay, the remaining survivors at Colony 5 are cannibals, but they’re not ordinary cannibals. They have discolored pupils and fangs, so how did the mutation happen? Is the flu the source of the transformation? They never give the slightest effort to explain any of this.
Weather machines are used to control the climate in the future, but the vast majority of weather machines froze……but SOMEHOW there’s still one functioning weather machine left? At Colony 5’s outpost, Sam is able to find the video for a broken transmission about another colony’s operational weather machine (and you can clearly see sunlight in the background of the video). Using this information, Sam gathers some remaining fruit and vegetable seeds, and the remaining survivors of Colony 7 embark on a mission to join the other colony, so they can plant and grow the seeds. So during an ice age, when every other weather machine in the world is frozen solid, ONE weather machine managed to miraculously survive the cold, is working without any problems, and there’s plenty of sunlight in this specific region? Yeah, bullshit.
Usually, I’m willing to overlook predictability, and The Colony features a handful of scenes with nasty, bloody, and gruesome gore (with Sam literally slicing the cannibal leader’s head in half being the highlight), but The Colony is a pretty lousy film. Tedious pacing, predictable and anticlimactic character deaths, too many plot holes, too many boring moments, and the action sequences are mediocre at best. Unfortunately, The Colony is a formulaic and generic sci-fi/post-apocalyptic thriller, that’s void of any guilty pleasure fun. And the premise isn’t bad, but it’s something you’ve probably seen a thousand times over (i.e. a band of small survivors fighting an unexpected and malicious threat in the aftermath of an apocalyptic disaster).
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