Reviewed by: Dave Murray
Raul Gasteazoro, Giovanni Messner
What's it about
Two tribes, the Huron and the Plaebian, are the last survivors of a great apocalypse. While the Plaebian try to rebuild society, the Huron have gone back to the old hunter-gatherer, mystic warrior standby. But when a new evil, the Sinasu, threatens both tribes, they will have to join together if mankind is going to survive.
Is it good movie?
There is a lot to like here, and sadly some things that just got on my nerves. For an independent production, it's a great accomplishment. From a technical standpoint, there are a few foibles, and the video quality is sometimes a little too "digital" looking, but on the whole it is a well made, good looking flick. Even the stereotypical, post apocalyptic script has some narrative depth and makes for a good watch. What got on my nerves was some of the overwrought acting, some of the lines delivered in the stock fantasy fashion (think Lord of the Rings done by Olivier and you get the level of overacting...okay, maybe not that much), and some of the artsy imagery. Having endured too much of it in film school, as I'm sure so many others have, I hate to see it marr the face of what is, for all accounts and purposes, a fine fantasy actioner that takes a low budget, unknown actors, some swift poacing and excellent staging, and even a little made up language, and turns it all into an entertaining experience that kept me watching long after some big budget flicks made me reach screaming for the eject button (hey, I'm looking at you Cloverfield...).
Now, let's talk about that made up language for a minute. Unlike others who have watched thi movie, I was digging it. I loved the rhythm and flow of it. Having grown up with lots of Canadian First Nations friends, the language sounded suspiciously a lot like Cree or anoy other number of Native languages, mixed with a little Spanish, I at first thought that that this is what it was (an honest mistake, I'm Canadian well versed in history and one of the tribes in thsi movie is named after the bloody Huron!) When I found out that it was a made up language (you mean like the fake Asian that Ling Ling speaks on Drawn Together? Yep), I thought, now that's cool. Ballsy move. My only problem with it is that they stopped using it and switched to English. That I did not like. I would have been perfectly happy is they had used that dialect through the whole movie, maybe if they even threw in different sounding ones for the different tribes. Switching to English as suddenly as they did brought me out of the movie and the world that they were slowly creating in the first block.
That said, I was groovin' to the story, despite the derivitive elements (think The Matrix, Quest For Fire and the above mentioned 10,000 BC, with a little Tolkein and Eddings thrown in too, just for the hardcore fantasy crowd). But the directors here show talent in making most of it feel fresh, mostly by focusing on some fresh faces talent, and displaying some stylistic sensibilities that reminded me of early John McTiernan and Ridley Scott. So I liked how the flick looked, despite the occasional digital video glare (hey, I'm a film nut, so I like the look of film over video), and I liked the story and most of the performances to a point. This made it an entertaining movie, and certainly better than others that have tried this genre with more money and bigger talent. Despite it's flaws, this is just one more example of why I love Europeans and their movies. This is a passable job that hints at something better, something more down the road. It didn't all gel on this one, but since I can't put my finger on what was wrong exceot in a vague sense, I liked it enough the same to keep watching, and these days that's saying something.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85:1. Despite the video quality of some of the camera work, the Italian scenery was gorgeous, and the movie looked nice overall.
Audio: English and Spanish (Dolby Digital) with subtitles in English. Oh and there was the made up language too, which was cool, but would have gotten on my nerves if it had stayed through the whole thing, despite the chunky way it was dropped for English.
No extras, just the movie. I wish more indie flicks would put together some extras, because I like to see how they do their shit, and here I would have loved to learn more about the invented language for the movie.
What this is, despite a few flaws, is a pretty decent adventure flick, laced with mysticism and art school sensibilities, but shot with a rough sort of tight documentary feel, that comes just this close to being awesome. A little more direction, just a little more something (maybe music, acting, effects, I don't know), and this apocalyptic puppy would be a force to be reckoned with. But much like the similarly titled 10,000 BC and the ill timed Pathfinder (although that stinker doesn't even have legs to stand next to this indie flick), this movie just doesn't seem to find its stride. The directors have talent and style, and the actors have the building blocks, and I am now in love with the dude that shot this movie (damn it looks good). Ultimately, it was good, which was alright. It could have been much more, but I'll settle for good, mostly cause I like this kind of movie, even with the faults.