Reviewed by: Jamey Hughton
What's it about
An alien fire beast crashes to Earth from the sun and commits an amazing amount of property damage, and a couple of firefighters resolve to stop it.
Is it good movie?
Straight from the imagination of William Shatner (is this good or bad?) comes FIRE SERPENT, which doesn’t really deliver the movie you are hoping for. It resembles a supernatural BACKDRAFT or a crappy episode of THE X-FILES more than a monster action movie. It’s another Sci-Fi Channel flick plagued by uninspired writing and cheesy effects, although it’s a comfortable step up from the abysmal ATTACK OF THE GRYPHON (which also starred a BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER alum).
Nicolas Brendon plays a firefighter named Jake, who watches on as one of his buddies is scooped up and devoured by a fire they are trying to extinguish.Of course, this was no “normal” fire, but try telling that to the bonehead detectives on the case, who (like most figures of authority in movies like this) refuse to accept the presence of something that can’t be supported by rational science. Fortunately for Jake, there is one person who seems to know the truth behind the accident, and that is ex-firefighter Fallon (Randolph Mantooth). Fallon is a classic exposition-spewing mentor character (Sam Elliott wasn’t available?) and seems to have read the textbook on fire serpents. Actually, he must have got 100% on the pop quiz. This man knows everything there is to know about fire demons from the sun, for the simple reason that someone has got to relay all this nonsense to the audience.
The alien presence takes on different shapes, although it’s mostly a roving flame that can travel through telephone wires as it searches for an energy source to sustain itself. Did I mention that it can also (hilariously) possess people? The idea of an unstoppable entity made of fire could have led to a more interesting film, but FIRE SERPENT is boring due to the fact that it's full of stock characters delivering lame dialogue. As for special effects, they are comparably better than ATTACK OF THE GRYPHON but still manage to render the creature as mostly ridiculous. A few death scenes generate unintentional laughter. The less said about the “death beams” shot from the eyes, the better.
The performances from Brendon and Mantooth (great name) are strained under the weight of the silly script. Even a key subplot about a scripture-quoting government agent (Robert Beltran) who thinks the alien is an angel sent from God to destroy Earth’s sinners falls flat because he’s just a poorly realized stereotype of a character in a movie chock full of them.
Video / Audio
Video 16x9 Widescreen Presentation
Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1, with English and Spanish subtitles
Unless the words "created by William Shatner" make you giddy with excitement, I wouldn't bother with FIRE SERPENT. It's exactly what you would expect from a Sci-Fi Channel original movie; cheesy effects and wooden acting rule the day.