Set in an ice-age future, the planet’s surface has become uninhabitable, forcing mankind to live 10 meters below ground. Due to a lack of manpower humanoids are created and controlled by a team of “Spartans”, who act as slave police to keep them in order. When a rogue humanoid who lead a rebellion against the humans is spotted, a specialist team of Spartans are sent on a mission to hunt him down.
The film does well to create a futuristic look, although it does look as though the film has taken inspiration from a lot of other sci-fi movies, which could turn into a bit of an Easter egg hunt for fans. The pacing is good with plenty of twists throughout to keep you entertained, but for those expecting a popcorn action sci-fi this may be a slight disappointment, as it tries to go much deeper dealing with the character’s grief and loss as much as about their mission.
The special effects including the elements of CGI are well executed and the fight scenes are shot well; even if the combat skills of the “Spartans” seem to be limited to offloading a round of ammunition; before assuming the super enhanced humanoids are dead. You didn’t see Gerard Butler and his 300 take any chances like this & I don’t think he would be too impressed with them undertaking the Spartan name.
One of the strengths of the film is the locations and the contrast between the bright colourful underground world and the bleak landscapes of the snow plains outside. Although I would like to have explored more of the underworld, once they set out on their mission the film makes the most of the cold ice-age backdrop, creating a sense of vulnerability in the bleak isolation.
Apart from Bishop (Paul Sidhu) who is still grieving for his wife, the team feel almost emotionless making them hard to like. The team is modelled on the Aliens (1986) template which has been used so many times over the years and worked. Unfortunately, with this team, their banter and hatred towards humanoids is all they seem to offer. The characteristics could be derived from the environment which they have been forced to endure, as well as fear. Suddenly the humanoids who they see as inferior and oppressed are looking to rise against them.
It may not be a perfect film as I would love to have seen more development from the characters, but the story does have an original feel and they’ve done well to recreate a visually stunning post-apocalyptic ice-age perfectly.
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