Needed More Cheese to Make it Work…
I don’t see this film being very successful for a number of reasons, but the acting is most definitely top of the rather large heap. The graphics were actually quite acceptable for the budget, although more would’ve been better, because lets face, that’s how the movie is being sold to the public. The poster is screaming Ender’s Game but the movie most certainly is not. I had fun watching Time Warrior because of the god-awful acting in certain scenes, which I’ll go into in a bit more detail. What might have made this far more palatable for the general viewing public is if it were a sci-fi comedy, then the many faux pas would’ve been deliberately funny instead of the complete opposite. So while there were admittedly nice touches of occasional CG, it might have been better (and funnier) if they went for full-on cheese, with Flash Gordon weapons and the like. Just thinking out loud here.
Some of the scenes at the beginning (particularly the dream flashbacks) played like a recruitment film for the US Marines, all slow-mo muscle-bound flag waving material, but I didn’t have a problem with that, more, it was how it showed the difference in production values going from one to the other. The scene where our hero, Matt (Thomas Graninger) is at his father’s grave, when Amazing Grace started playing quietly in the background, was extremely funny, and was just way too much in my opinion. I think Joaquin Rodriguez should have arranged something with the U.S air force and had them do a flyby in a squadron of fighters, just to better set the mood. Yeah, right!
There were a couple of scenes that I found hilarious, like when the badass boyfriend of Judy (Kai Denton) warns Matt to keep away from her, with an unrealistic outburst and storms away. But the absolute best (or worst, depending how you’re looking at it) was when Matt first goes to meet the Lord of War (Kevon Stover) with some mega bad dialogue to spout. “You are the one” he tells the unbelieving teenager. Though, I don’t remember anything about taking a blue or red pill or mention of a rabbit hole. He explains to Matt (with the cheesiest of all the dialogue, and much over-acting) that he has plans for our hero, and also hints at being Abel (the one who killed his brother Cain in the bible), wanting to cause as much war and destruction through the teenage boy. “War is bad!” he yells at Lord of War, thanks to another badly written line, but is told he has no say in the matter now that he’s unwittingly offered his soul to the warmonger.
The premise is this. Matt’s father kills himself over in Iraq, because he’s sick of all the killing, and now his son has an obsession with how he died. When his father torched himself his soldier buddy was too late to prevent it but he came home and married the widow. He’s an unpleasant character who insists on being addressed as sir by Matt, and is a bit heavy-handed with the teenager. Matt’s best friend, Jimmy (Brandon Dold) has a wealthy father (and very hot step-milf) so gets anything he wants, and after having his favourite game thrown in the trash, his father buys a replacement Time Warrior game from a guy who appears from nowhere, offering an unreleased pirate version. After Matt and Jimmy play the game, and Matt touches the screen to sell his soul, things start to go crazy, and Matt finds out the truth about his father, and now himself. Jimmy is also dragged into it but he is acting in a different capacity to Matt. With a high-tech cellphone and immortality set to high, Matt can call on a cool looking Ender’s Game suite, which also allows him to time-travel. Lord of War has chosen Matt and Jimmy to keep him entertained with destruction and chaos, which begs the question, why was it such a small-scale affair when it finally does kick off? I mean, three girls and a five-man swat team was the best they could do? I thought we were going to have some major battles or something, the way the Lord of War was yakking on.
Now, a lot of the acting was a tad below par, but you have to remember most of the main cast were total rookies, so really, they weren’t that bad. In fact, some of the kids were fine and with it being their very first movie, it was a reasonable enough effort. Most of you adults will recognise the homeless man (described by Jimmy as “smelling like my dogs ass”), played by old hand Mr Rusty Meyers (Ocean’s Eleven), but the rest I don’t think I’ve seen before. Anyhoo, it was indeed an entertaining film but perhaps not in the way intended. If you get the chance to see it then it is worth a quick gander, but just remember it only had a budget of $850 thousand, hence, you most definitely get what you pay for.