Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mutant Chronicles (2008)



War and Sci-fi movies are generally studio products while Independent movies tend to be smaller personal dramas. So when you do have an independent movie that deals with a global war, alien invasion and retro science-fiction, it's an oddity - one that stands to be examined. Mutant Chronicles is such an oddity that takes a bleak past and throws it into a grim dystopian future. It's part orthodox, part crazy and part artsy. But most importantly, very independent.

In the year 2707, a future that seems more probable than one would like to believe, Earth has been stripped of its resources. The world itself is divided into three corporations that wage wars (using their private armies) to battle for the remaining resources. Lack of oil and a polluted skyline pushes machines back to the steam engine. Amidst this, while humanity faces extinction due to the appearance of a multitude of deathless mutants, a rag-tag team of unified soldiers attempts to eliminate the common enemy. Deprived of humor and hope, the soldiers resign themselves to a fate they accept but are willing to fight against.

Mutant Chronicles, in its lack of color and faith in Humanity, is bleak to the extent that the surviving humans do not even hope for Earth to be saved. They abandon it easily, moving on to other planets to possibly scourge more worlds. The movie does defy logic, and consciously so, such that the outcome is quite predictable. But it’s a dirty, bleak and sordid story, of an equally morbid Earth, that is populated with scenes of pure bliss – scenes that make it a significant departure from the heroic movies that Hollywood churns out.

“Faith” is woven into the movie’s storyline as an important theme, but serves an ancillary purpose – one to add subjectivity to the motives of some of the characters, and to form an interesting parallel to many of today’s belief patterns. Eventually though, what really makes Mutant Chronicles an astounding movie is the same reason why it will have detractors, and that is its incongruous mix of the traditional and the eccentric.

My rating --> 4 of 5

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