Saturday, December 27, 2014

End-of-the-Year Sci-Fi Movie Reviews - "Age of Tomorrow"

I don't know if I can do another of these movies after watching this.  I have a hard time understanding how these kind of movies get made.

Here's the synopsis that Netflix gave for this movie "When the sun strikes an altar hidden within the ancient Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, it creates a beacon that triggers an alien blitzkrieg". It didn't sound too promising, however, nothing in that synopsis, expect for the last two words actually happens in the movie. The only reason I can think of to name this movie "Age of Tomorrow" is the hope that people would confuse it with the Tom Cruise movie "Edge of Tomorrow". In fact if you image Goggle "Age of Tomorrow" most of the images are "Edge of Tomorrow". If you can fool Goggle, you can fool anybody.

The story started out looking like a high school reenactment of "Armageddon". That's right, another asteroid is heading for the earth and it's a 1/4 the size of the moon. And learning nothing from either "Armageddon" or "Asteroid vs. Earth", we're gonna try to blast it from the sky. The "best pilot" we have (Captain James Wheeler) who has "issues" is tapped to lead his band of "roughnecks" in a CG spaceship to the asteroid and plant explosives.  Coming along for the ride is the best expert we have on "interstellar geology" (Dr. Gordon - this film is so low budget, she doesn't get a first name), to direct the placing of the charges. The mission is put together by General Magowan who is played by Richard Picardo. You may recognize him as The Doctor from "Star Trek Voyager". It's the second movie in a row featuring a refugee from Star Fleet.

They crash land on the asteroid and with machine guns in hand, they go out to place the charges. The low budget doesn't extend as far as trying to reproduce a low gravity environment, nor does it explain why they needed machine guns (and it later turns out knives) on this mission. Well it's just as well they did. All of a sudden a swarm of spheres streams out of the rock toward earth. One takes a swipe at their ship leaving them stranded. Luckily (?) they find some sort of portal which takes them to the alien's home planet. It has lovely blue vegetation.

Back on earth, the alien machines, which look like miniature Death Stars, are causing havoc in Los Angeles. Fireman Chris Meher and is crew are trying to put out the resulting fires while dodging alien machines, when Chris gets a call from his 17-year-old daughter. Instead of being at home, she's gone into town and is trapped in an office building.  Meher and company run into an Army group which mostly gets wiped out by the aliens. Chris gets his men and Major Blake, the only surviving soldier, to help rescue his daughter. One of the fireman says to another "Rescue his daughter? That's a bad idea". The other says "Yeah, she isn't even that cute". They both get killed by an alien blast for those remarks.

Eventually we learn that the aliens, who by the way look like the aliens in "Preditor" but with shorter dreadlocks, are a dying race. They have only one queen left. For some reason they are not killing everyone on earth, some are being teleported to their planet. This is what happens to Chris' daughter just when he's found her.

The aliens are torturing the humans they send back or blowing them up in what look like futuristic telephone booths. They then may be feeding the remains to the queen. Captain James Wheeler's get killed in one gruesome manner or another. Wheeler manages to escape and finds the team's radio. He sends a rather disjointed message back to earth. Again no budget to account for the speed of light in this movie as the message is instantly received back on earth.  The good Captain gets one of the serrated blades the aliens have sprouting out of the backs of their hands through is chest for his trouble.

Back on earth, The Doctor, I mean General Macowan, completely understands Wheeler's message. They are planing the greatest assault ever launched by earth. First, a fleet of 6 CG space ships will be sent against the asteroid to blow it up and seal off the portal the aliens are using to get their ships to earth. At the same time, a crack team of heavily-armed soldiers will be sent through a portal created by an alien machine they captured to rescue the humans on the alien planet. This crack team consists of Major Blake armed with a hand gun and a flashlight, fireman Chris, armed with a giant axe, and 6 other soldiers with an odd assortment of automatic weapons and a bazooka. None of them is wearing a helmet. This assault doesn't exactly look like D-Day.

We've already seen that the aliens are pretty hard to kill. Bullets just bounce off. Captain Wheeler managed to kill one by sticking a knife in it's ear (or whatever it had on the side of its head).

It's a good thing that Chris had the axe because it was the only weapon effective against the aliens. While the rest of his team gets wiped out, usually without even firing their weapons, Chris mows those aliens down with his fireman's axe. He finally find his daughter but she gets a gut shot. He gets her outside, saying "Let's go home", even though there didn't seem to be any provisions to get back to earth.

Meanwhile, The Doctor gets the decisive shot against the asteroid and blows it to pieces, only to see that all the pieces are going to hit the earth.

Back on the alien plant, Chris puts his daughter down by a tree and sees he's surrounded by aliens. He starts to pick up his axe, but his daughter manages to croak out, "Dad, it's over". Chris grabs the axe and says something line "It ain't over yet" and leaps toward the nearest alien.

Roll credits. Seriously, that was the end of the movie. Perhaps they had some sort of sequel in mind.

1 comment:

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