Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mutant Chronicles

Ron Perlman was excellent in the Hellboy films. He has that edginess that can bring a graphic novel character to life. Mutant Chronicles has roots in a role-playing game from 1993. The film reflected those roots through a graphic novel format which was interesting to watch. If only the storyline could have matched the interesting characters and imagery, I may have found more enjoyment in this film.

Mutant Chronicles tells a convoluted story set in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world. We are dropped into a battle that has the Great War trenches and a distinct throw-back feel. The weapons are obviously anachronistic, demonstrating far greater fire power than what would have been available at the time. In the midst of battle, the two engaging forces are interrupted by a group of mutants who wield sword arms that puncture faces and disembowel with incredible speed and ease. These creatures create havoc beyond the mayhem of war. These mutants pose a very different threat.

Citizens are evacuated as leaders contemplate their next move. It seems that a machine that has been locked away for 10,000 years has begun creating mutants. These mutants used to be human. The machine replaces the right arm with a jagged edged weapon and implants an artificial eye. These mutants are fast and experience cell regeneration that makes them difficult to kill. Massive tissue damage from automatic weapons fire or sword fighting can kill them….but their speed and rapid recovery make it a difficult task.

The objective of the humans in Mutant Chronicles is to battle against all odds to deliver a device that is suspected to be some sort of bomb to the heart of the machine. By accomplishing this difficult task, a small team of humans may be able to stop the onslaught of mutant killers that have taken over.

The plot is very simple in this film, which is why I feel like this review has major spoilers instead of my normal minor spoiler alert. We are introduced to several characters who use their grit and skill at killing to battle mutants that made short work of regular soldiers. The concept was intriguing but the story failed on several levels for me. Mutant Chronicles couldn’t seem to hold my interest. The graphic effects eventually got old. It seemed like the same effects done over and over again. The plot lacked intricacy which made the film rather boring in spite of some interesting special effects. The characters were flat even though they had the potential to be very interesting. The characters were diverse but never really fully explored. The plot was predictable and weak. One minor plot twist at the end was not enough to make this film gripping. I can’t say that this film did anything to make me a fan of writer Philip Eisner.

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