out of Five
Running time: 111
Mutant Chronicles has an intriguing premise, good performances and some decent effects, but it's let down by some terrible pacing and an extremely dull script.
What's it all about?
Based on the popular role-playing boardgame, Mutant Chronicles is set in the 23rd century where earth's four giant corporations (Capitol, Bauhaus, Imperial and Mishima) are battling over the planet's dwindling resources. As war rages across the globe, a shell shatters an ancient seal buried deep in the earth, releasing an army of vicious mutants with savage sword-like limbs. With the mutants bent on the destruction of mankind, the fate of the earth lies with Brother Samuel (Ron Perlman), the keeper of the Chronicles - a book that prophesied both the rise of the mutants and the key to destroying them.
With the blessing of the Corporations' leader (John Malkovich), Brother Samuel recruits an elite fighting team to attack the mutants, including: crack soldier Mitch Hunter (Thomas Jane); silent, sword-wielding Severian (Anna Walton); Bauhaus officer Steiner (Benno Fuhrmann), who'd been fighting Hunter when the seal was broken; smart-mouthed street fighter El Jesus (Luis Echegary); pintsized arse kicker Duval (Devon Aoki); and taciturn warrior Juba (Tom Wu).
The effects are good and the performances are fine, although Sean Pertwee's obligatory turn up, get horribly killed cameo is rather wasted.
The film has a decent premise but fails to do anything interesting with it, beyond laying the groundwork for a shoot 'em up. The biggest problem is director Simon Hunter's pacing – the film takes forever to get going and the script is extremely dull, meaning you run the risk of falling asleep before the action starts.
It doesn't help that the look of the film is completely drained of colour, which works fine in terms of reflecting a war-ravaged earth, but gives you nothing to really look at on the screen.
As a bog standard shoot 'em up, this is just about watchable. It's extremely boring in places and could have been a lot better.