The Mutant Chronicles

Director: Simon Hunter (2008)
Starring: Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, John Malkovich, Devon Aoki
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Tuning into the Warhammer 40k audience comes The Mutant Chronicles, a dingy piece of post-apocalyptica which pits good actors against a terrible storyline and incomprehensible CGI. It's like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, except dingier and darker. It's based, apparently on a role playing game so is a bit like a videogame adaptation except not.

John Malkovich cashes in an easy cheque as a ruler of one of the 'corporations' that has turned the world to ashes. That he's not playing an evil character is possibly the only surprise this movie has in store. Everything else you can probably guess from the poster alone. During a futuristic neverending war, some silly corporations awaken an ancient machine which turns people into evil mutants. So the prophecies say, a small squad of toughies must travel deep into the centre of the Earth to blow the machine up. Ugh, plots based on prophecies are almost as bad as movies based on RPG games (see also Dungeons & Dragons).

The Mutant Chronicles is so predictable and hackneyed that it has Sean Pertwee continuing his grand tradition of dying in every movie in which he appears. There's very little tension or characterisation, and the mutants look crappy. Aside from Tom Jane, Malkovich, Ron Perlman and Devon Aoki (playing against type as a samurai-sword weilding hottie), there are apparently other people in The Mutant Chronicles. But I couldn't tell you who they are or what they contribute, because it's (a) too dingy to see who the fuck anyone is, and (b) no-one does anything other than scream a lot and shout at bad CGI mutants.

It's inoffensive, mind. And the forces of Jane & Perlman make it watchable enough, even if you'll have forgotten the whole thing ten minutes later. It's just too dull, predictable, pretentious and inconsequential to matter in any larger scheme. It's humourless, self-absorbed and full of ugly cinematics. Do yourself a favour and go play Fallout instead.

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