Sunday, September 28, 2014

Age of Tomorrow (2014)

Note:  I’m going to give away major details, including the movie.  I don’t think there should be much risk of you watching it, since it’s a horrible movie.  If you want to be surprised, now would be a good time to stop reading.

I used to think that happy endings were kind of cliché.  It took something away from the movie knowing that someone would walk away happy.  Even in a horror movie, it may have been the bad guy, allowing for a sequel.  I’ve come to realize why this isn’t such a bad thing.

Age of Tomorrow starts off with what is called an asteroid heading for Earth.  (The reason I don’t say “appears to be” is that it has spikes all over its surface.  No asteroid should look like this.)  General Magowan calls on Captain James Wheeler to lead a team to destroy it.  Of course, Wheeler has sworn off the military due to having lost one person on a mission, but is convinced once he realizes the potential repercussions.  He demands to bring his own team.  Along for the ride is physicist Dr. Gordon.

When they get to the asteroid, they discover that it’s no asteroid.  They’re on an alien space ship, which explains the normal gravity and everything.  The team is attacked by a spherical machine, which Dr. Gordon instantly knows will transport them someplace else rather than kill them outright.  On Wheeler’s order, the rest of the team allows itself to be transported.

They find themselves on an alien planet.  They have a transmitter, but it will take an hour to charge.  While looking around, they notice humans being led into a facility by aliens.  Rather than hide the transmitter and to some reconnaissance, they leave the transmitter in plain sight and barge in.  All of the team members are eventually killed.  That’s what you get for taking a mission with a $3-million payday.

The B story, which takes place mostly on Earth, involves a firefighter that has to go in to work, despite it being his weekend with his daughter.  She wanders off into downtown L.A., which happens to be where the aliens are attacking.  He eventually finds her, only to see her transported to the alien world.  This leaves him to join up with the military and help with a rescue mission while General Magowan destroys the asteroid.

If only it were that easy.

General Magowan destroys the asteroid, but the daughter is shot.  Both Magowan and the father realize how screwed they are.  There are several dozen aliens surrounding the father, one of whom shows them Earth surrounded by several dozen asteroids.  The father decides to go down fighting.

This is one of those movies that’s going to be very easy to pick apart.  The first thing that caught my attention was that they happened to have a ship for the team to go up to the asteroid.  It’s said that it’s supposed to be some lunar-base supply ship.  I can excuse this, as it’s implied that the military is lying to Wheeler.  But it does seem rather convenient that the military has a lot more of these, which are shown later in the movie.  (The same goes for having Earth-like gravity on the supposed asteroid, as it’s not really an asteroid.)

The thing that gets me is that very little is mentioned about the physics of the blast.  They’re sending up a physicist, but she makes no mention of directing the blast.  It’s not really enough to destroy the asteroid.  If I understand correctly, spreading around the mass just spreads around the damage.

Also, why is it that alien planets always have trees and plants?  In some movies, it’s understandable.  You’re colonizing a planet.  You might even be terraforming the planet.  It would make sense to put trees on your new planet if they’re not already there.  Not only do the aliens look humanoid, they happen to have plant life that looks like ours.  I won’t even get into the fact that their technology looks almost identical.

The writing is bad all over.  This is one of those movies where the daughter tells her father that she’s in some random office building and he magically knows which one.  It seems like the characters, many of them trained professionals, are simply there to be killed.  We get some nice shots of people getting their heads blown off.  Still, I’d like to see someone stop for a moment and think about what they’re doing.  If you’re wondering, there’s no sex or nudity.  All of the objectionable imagery comes from the gore.  This is not a movie for children.

I’m not sure where the name comes from.  The official site doesn’t say much.  I think maybe it’s supposed to be a title that thinks it’s more awesome than it really is.  Quite frankly, so is the movie.  Kelly Hu and Robert Picardo are the only names that I recognized.  I wonder if they lost a bet or something.

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