Monday, December 14, 2009

SyFy Pulled A TV-Level Suck

I am really learning to hate "Made For TV" movies. I don't know what it is... maybe it's the poor storylines... the emphasis on dramatic side-stories instead of action... the poor storylines... this asinine idea that you can stretch out ten seconds into two minutes by a bunch of extreme zoom-ins... the poor storylines... the idea that you can't go wrong if you have a cast member of a popular TV show appearing it... the poor storylines... the hidden agendas incorporated into the show... Oh, I know! It's the poor storylines!

My cat can produce better-quality crap than some of these "Made For TV" screenwriters, and he can squeeze them out in the litter box about three-to-five times a day!

The latest film that sucks is SyFy's "Annihilation Earth".

The film stars Luke Goss as a scientist in charge of a near-future program that utilizes supercolliders as an energy source. Yes, supercolliders, plural. We have a hard enough time talking about ONE of them, but apparently in this hypothetical near-future, three of them can power the whole European continent without a single drop of fossil fuels, and have been for ten years by the time the film begins. And now the plan is to expand on this and share the grid with every nation in the world... EXCEPT... yeah, except for the ARAB world. Why? Why not? The Arabs lorded the world with oil, and now some bureaucrat (played by "Star Trek" star Marina Sirtis) with a really bad Southern drawl decides that the Arab world should suffer.

Just minutes into this, one of the scientists who was responsible for this project is suspended. No reason why other than his account was hacked. Oh, and, yeah, he's also an ARAB. (No bigotry here, right guys?)

Meanwhile the actual ARAB bad guy (again, no stereotyping here, right?) has snagged our pretend super-genius' voice and thumbprint, and has used it to sabotage the collider in the French city of Orleans. It goes MEGA-nuclear and takes out Paris and damages most of the cities in Europe. But our paper-pushing bureaucrat with a bad Southern drawl wants to blame it all on the scapegoat ARAB, who is now on the run, which is exactly what our bureaucrat WANTS to have happen.

Now, for the next hour we get our pretend super-genius getting his little crack team of hand-wringers scouring the European non-nuclear wasteland as the world goes mad, planes start crashing, satellites start falling, the Northern Lights move south, and we hear a long repetitious diatribe about something called "The Doomsday Equation", which can be summed up as "we need to keep the other colliders running no matter what or else we're all DEAD". We even have the scapegoat ARAB meeting with the bad guy ARAB, with our delusional bad guy saying he's doing everything for the glory of the Arab world and the scapegoat saying that if he goes through with it then there wouldn't BE a world for the Arabs to rule over. AND THEN, after all that, we spend the LAST few minutes in an actual debate over whether or not the colliders SHOULD be shut down to save the International Space Station, which ends up coming down ANYWAY while our characters discuss it.

I won't spoil the ending here. It does that all by itself. I will say that even if the ending didn't happen the way that it did, it still would have been LAME.

I have always enjoyed Marina Sirtis' acting before now, but this has become the exception. I'm sorry, Ms. Sirtis, but you can't do a southern drawl with a British accent to highlight an ice queen character. The three things just don't work together.

Next... the "Arabs are evil" and "Arabs can't be trusted" and "Payback's a bitch, Arabs" excuses may make good talking points for talk radio, but not for a sound energy policy that is talking about supposedly providing clean and safe energy for everyone. I mean, give clean and safe energy for third world nations, but NOT to Arab states and then complain about the threat of TERRORISM? That's like giving billions to the banks and then acting surprised when they use that money on themselves. You'd pretty much get that of ANY nation that is singled out.

And, hey, how about that plotline of the bad guy? Kidnap the scapegoat and force him to give the access code to shut down the second collider. Why not just repeat what you did the first time around when you blew up the Orleans collider? You had access to that reactor, you could have very easily made the adjustments that you wanted to make and just blew the collider up and gotten the destruction you yearned for! Oh, wait a minute, that would involve better WRITERS! Details, details, DETAILS!

This was a waste of two hours, and, yes, that includes the commercials. Not on the same caliber as the waste of time that NBC and CBS spew with their monstrosities, though... because let's face it, if this ended up on NBC or CBS then it would have been an over-hyped TWO-NIGHT SPECIAL MINI-SERIES, and it would have featured Dean Cain, Shannon Doherty, and Beau Bridges, with Christopher Lee or Frank Langella added for good measure!

Come on Badly-Revamped-Rebranded Network! You're supposed to challenge us to "Imagine Greater", not imagine THAT the junk you're putting out there is greater! Is that too much to ask for?


Norm said...

Why is having the only arab scientist onthe team become #1 suspect racist or bigoted? IT makes perfect sence. It's called profiling. This is done all the time in the real world of law enforcement and homeland security. When you suspect arabs are behind you first see if it could have been an inside job. The only Arab on the team would become the #1 logical suspect. The rest of your review is spot on. SciFi films have become synonimous with really bad movies.

Norm said...

Your review is almost 100% correct. The only problem with it is your overly sensitive reaction to the only arab on the team being turned into prime suspect for an inside job. Since he was the only arab on the team and since people tend to blame the arabs for terrorist strikes like this it makes perfect sense to look at the arab on the team. When you suspect a person of a specific ethnic group of a crime you don't go looking at people of other ethnic groups.