Sunday, 23 March 2014

25th Reich, The (2012)

When the best thing about a film is the credits, it can usually be assumed that something has gone terribly wrong with the film-making process. This is such a film.

We begin in 1944 Germany, with some brief CGI shots of the interior of a factory. The last thing we see is what looks like a flying saucer, before the film jumps backward a year to outback Australia, where five US soldiers are looking for two escaped pumas. The film makers choose to convey this with a text scrawl, rather than a couple of seconds of expository dialogue, a clumsy device that made me - justifiably as it turned out - wary.

Anyway, it turns out the puma thing was only a cover story, and the real purpose of the mission was to utilise an experimental time machine to jump back in time 50,000 years. This brings the men into conflict with (awful CGI) marsupial lions, and a swarm of (slightly less awful CGI) mosquitoes where each insect is as big as your hand. But more sinister dangers lurk in the past ...

When you have a movie that includes time travel and nazis, there are two things it is not likely to be: 1. Good, and 2. Boring. Alas, this film manages to be the latter with considerable panache. Lead actor Jim Knobeloch does his best to make the material work, but he's sabotaged by the terrible script, awful pacing, and ropey accents of his colleagues. The pacing in particular is a problem. It takes a long time for anything to really happen in this film.  In this regard it falls far short of Nazis-on-the-moon film Iron Sky.  Whatever that film's other failings (and it had plenty), 'nothing happens' was not one of them.

In this film, when something finally does happen, that thing is 'sexual assault, played for laughs'. So yeah, maybe tedium was better. It's sexual assault of a man (there are no women in the film), so at least it's not as misogynistic as it sounds, but it's still a terrible idea.

Avoid this. If you really, really need to see pulp SF Nazis, Iron Sky is many, many times better.

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