Ferocious Planet (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
7Jul/110

Ferocious Planet (2011)

It can be lonely circling the DVD bin toward the bottom of the barrel with new releases.  Ferocious Planet is a Syfy original movie so at least I know I won't be nearly as angry as I was with Hobo With A Shotgun.  The greater tread observation would be to say that it's a Syfy original movie, so it probably won't be nearly as smart or well-crafted as Hobo was.  But that was a disgusting exploitation flick amped up to the emotionally dead Mountain Dew generation and this is a mostly harmless incredibly boring science fiction fantasy.

Oh look, John Rhys-Davies.  Advantage: Ferocious Planet.

They must have had him on retainer because the plot of Ferocious Planet could have come straight from one of the poorer episodes of the sporadically creative and consistently entertaining Sliders.  There's a top-secret science project going on that needs his approval to continue the government dollars flowing in.  The scientists have found a way to peer into another world and are about ready to teleport into it when there's a wee incident and the teleportation goes off sooner than expected, taking everyone into another world.

"What is it this time Mr. Mallory? Gynecoid homo-lizardius trasmophrigate with your germaniums again?"

There's a battle for survival and plants that look suspiciously like the kind you'd find growing in the wooded area behind your local Wal-Mart.  Part of the charm of these low budget films is how they make use of space is available to film in, but that's dependent on how creatively the environments can be used.  Much of the movie seems to revolve around the same few logs as the military types and scientists look scared and determined in rhythmic succession.

Most disappointingly, John Rhys-Davies is only in the film long enough to establish himself as a "bad guy" then be promptly killed off by one of the monsters outside.  But really, the "monsters" just had a bunch of humans with weapons appear out of nowhere in their nesting grounds.  Shouldn't they be a little perturbed by this sudden rash of invaders?  Wouldn't it be more interesting from their perspective?  Oh there I go again, crafting a different movie in my head.

All might be redeemed if there was the slightest hint that someone took the creature designs seriously.  As babies they look like slightly larger ticks forever balanced on evolutionarily precarious long, thin legs.  Not bad, but then we meet the parent (gender, thankfully, uninvestigated) and it just looks like someone pointed toward the "rhino" designs in Avatar and said, "Yes, that.  Only no blue, blue is depressing."

Presumably this is math. I can only base this on the fact that there are equations, and when the problem was "solved" they said it involved math.

There's no reason to drag anyone other that John Rhys-Davies into this review because he's the only one that puts in the effort to make a character.  True, that character is recycled from one of his previous successes but I'll take victories like that with cheap science-fiction films when I see them.  The rest of the actors embody your various levels of sci-fi cliches, and really the only character quirk I remember between any of them is that the "nerd" tapped his foot all the time.  So much, in fact, the director remembered to point his camera at the foot any time it got the urge to start a tappin' and I start to suspect Tarantino is behind the camera.

While I am certain the intended audience for Hobo would eat up its grotesqueries (and did, and continues to do so) I'm not sure there's much to attract even the most loving low budget sci-fi fan to Ferocious Planet.  I'll admit to seeing some interesting creature designs in other films of its breed, but an overgrown baby tick and color desaturated Avatar rhino are not worthy of such recommendation.  Toss in some lifeless acting, boring locales and dead John Rhys-Davies and that about seals it up for this movie - toothless and totally forgettable.

Ferocious Planet (2011)
Directed by Billy O'Brien.
Teleplay by  Douglas G. Davis.
Starring John Rhys-Davies.

Posted by Andrew

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