Mutant Chronicles – Director’s Cut (2008/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)
B- Sound: B- Extras: C Film: C
projects try to throw in everything with good intent, but get tripped up in the
process. An interesting and somewhat
ambitious recent example is Simon Hunter’s Mutant
Chronicles (2008), which wants to be a Science Fiction film, action film,
have shades of the current zombie cycle, look like Sin City and even suggest the Superhero genre. The makers even landed great actors for it like
Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, Sean Pertwee and John Malkovich, but even in this
longer version, it is everything we have seen before.
all the nation-states and even superstates have been replaced by a few
mega-corporations who own the world and they are about to go to war again for
what resources still remain. A “seal”
that was keeping mutated people (deemed disposable by dark powers before)
breaks, unleashing an army of killer mutants and all hell breaks loose. Can the human race survive the corporations,
situation and mutants?
ambitious efforts and a likable cast, the makers come up with nothing new to do
here and almost looks like everything we have seen before. This could have worked on some level, but
Hunter is just going through the motions and little he does here shows he knows
little of his way around any of these genres.
That’s a shame, because Jane is underrated and Perlman is always a
plus. Having Malkovich is a nice touch
and the pseudo-religion angle should have been worked much more effectively,
but ultimately, Hunter and company just pick up anything around them and hope
it will work. It does not.
Edward R. Pressman is responsible for The
Crow films, while Philip Eisner wrote the highly underrated Event Horizon (1997, reviewed elsewhere
on this site), so you can see why this project made sense to greenlight. I just wished it was a surprise, even if they
had to make it longer. Oh well.
1.85 X 1 image is consistently soft, but soft on purpose as part of the styling
and look, but the attempt looks dated on arrival and it was a big mistake to
take this route. Color also suffers as a
result. It is shot totally in High
Definition and that did not help either.
The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix should not be as flat and
limited as it is here, but sound is too much towards the front channels and
performance not as dynamic as one is used to with such films. Extras include a Making Of featurette,
Deleted Scenes, feature length audio commentary track by Hunter and Perlman,
green screen/storyboard comparisons, short promo film also with Hunter
commentary available, making of the teaser (!), cast/crew interviews, HDNet
episode promoting the production, storyboards, concept art and visual effects
pieces, webisodes, original trailer and Q&A from the Comic Con. Well, you can’t say they weren’t ambitious.
- Nicholas Sheffo