Fantasia : Recon 2022

I will be exceptionally harsh on Recon 2022, the locally-made sci-fi epic story starring a group of elite space marines on their quest to help the fledging human race overcome their terrible enemies, the Ma'hars. Producer/Director Christian Viel was on-hand to present his movie, and in his opening speech he told the audience "Not to think about it too much", as it's just a "fucking space marine movie". Fair enough.

I can forgive a lot of things about this movie. I can forgive the fact that although their enemies are supposed to be Ma'hars and Greys, they are barely in the movie (the bad guys are mostly humans/mercenary cyborgs). I can forgive the many cheesy CG shots that are the landmark of low-budget movies. These factors are due to budget constraints. Unfortunately, director Viel seems to be unaware of very basic concepts in cinema such as “the reaction shot”. It would seem the script or storyboard of that movie must have parts like "Film people shooting randomly for 20 seconds. Then the bad guy falls for no apparent reason". This kind of filming constitutes the bulk of the action scenes. One particularly bad example of this is when an enemy cyborg is shot dead, as it falls down it fires one final missile at the good guys. Where did that missile go? We'll never know. It doesn't hit nor does it misses, it just disappears. The movie is filled with moments like this. That doesn't have anything to do with budget constraints, it's sloppy planning, and amateurish execution.

I was more lenient on the first one because I believe first shots can be given a break. But by now the cost in time and money of CG shots should be known, and it's better to have 15 well-made CG shots than 45 duck-taped inconsistent shots. However, not all is lost. Characters are generally better-defined and more interesting than in Recon 2020, and the script's quality is also better, with some funny moments and clever dialogs. But overall it's very disappointing, especially considering the insane amount of work involved in all those CG shots.

Side by side with lower-budgeted feature-length titles such as Maurice Devereaux's End of the Line and last year's The Descendant by Philippe Spurrell, this independent film is left far behind. 3/10 with a butt-factor of 1.

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