Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dead Space: Downfall

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Dead Space: Downfall - 3 out of 5

I'm a cheap man. A REALLY cheap man. And when you're a cheap man and you're a gamer, some games you wait till they become greatest hits and their price is dropped to 20 bucks. Well, that's what I did with Dead Space. The game is just fantastic and scary as all hell but I'm not reviewing the video game, I'm reviewing the animated film that serves as a prequel to the events in the first game. I'm reviewing Dead Space: Downfall.

Like I said before, this movie acts as a prologue to the events that take place in the video game as it follows a group of miners who travel out to a outpost in space that suddenly erupts into violence after an ancient artifact is found. An investigation by the mining ship Ishimura discovers a long dormant evil has been reawaken and the rest of the film becomes a fight for survival for the crew of the ship.

When this first came out, I wrote it off and didn't bother to see it because too often, animated films based upon motion picture or video game properties always end up becoming anime projects, for example, the video game Halo. Personally, I am not a fan of anime, so I was relieved when I finally noticed that this film wasn't anime-based. The animation, however, is very nice to look at. That is, the 2D animation is nice to look at. However, the integrated 3D animation looks like something that came out in the 90's BUT the 3D animation consists mostly of the ships and the planet the ancient relic rests upon AND since the action is character/monster driven, the 3D animation doesn't have a very large role in the film so this compliant is easily forgettable. It really becomes something to forget when you see the hardcore action this film offers. And when I say hardcore, I mean FUCKING HARDCORE!!! You could shower for a year in the amount of animated blood this movie dishes out.

But there in lies the true problem of Dead Space: Downfall. The film is so completely focused on the brutality of it all, the story begins to suffer and there are no real characters for me, the viewer, to get behind and cheer on to survival. Sure the movie focuses around the ship's head of security; Alissa Vincent but her character is so weakly delivered as she is basically a generic, F-bomb spitting, tough-as-nails, loose-cannon female sci-fi cliche. Why is it that science fiction lacks quality female characters? They always fall into one of two categories: the cliche I just described or the damsel in distress. However, every so often we get kick-ass females in space who break these molds. For example, Ripley from Alien.

Despite excellent voice acting from some of voice acting's best and decent bloody action, the film's lack of quality characters and over-emphasis on blood rather than story causes Dead Space: Downfall to FALL into a 3 out of 5.

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