10.5 APOCALYPSE (2006)

10.5 Apocalypse (Ws) (2006)

Actors: Kim Delaney, Beau Bridges
Director: John Lafia
Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs:



This made-for-the-Hallmark Channel TV mini-series about the United States being struck by a series of earthquakes wastes no time in getting started: the first ten minutes or so sees entire coastal cities being submerged by a gigantic tidal wave, not to mention an ocean liner being capsized by said killer wave!

It plays a bit like a greatest hits of all disaster movies montage and all this rather gleeful mass scale destruction is kinda difficult to resist to be honest. That the CGI effects are quite cheesy and obvious makes it even more fun.

The plot also plays like a ?best of disaster movies? as several subplots and a myriad of characters intertwine. The dialogue is dull, but one simply has to admire the actors who spend a lot of time standing around looking shocked and aghast at all the mayhem thought up by the series? screenwriters. In true End of the World movie tradition several famous and not so famous American landmarks ?gets? it, the first being that huge Hollywood sign. Unfortunately the destruction is limited to the West Coast and Mid-West so there are no scenes of aliens blowing up the White House. Oh sorry, that's another movie . . . (Highlights include the Hoover dam and Mount Rushmore.)

Soon after 9/11 commentators wondered whether that real-life disaster meant the end of the disaster movie. Nope, not only were we treated to the likes of Poseidon and The Core on the big screen, but the Hallmark Channel seems to delight in this sort of thing (see my review of Supernova, another one of their shows). In fact 10.5 Apocalypse is a sequel to 10.5, a show which apparently featured only one earthquake. This one ups the ante by having several earthquakes due to rapidly shifting tectonic plates that splits the U.S. of A. geographically into two and has the entire Las Vegas swallowed by quicksand in the process (I kid you not).

It's all rather fun actually, even if the characters aren't particularly interesting and while the scenes of mass destruction looks like something your thirteen-year-old nephew might have generated on his PC, some of the disaster scenes looks rather well-done and of big screen movie quality. The plot clips along rather nicely although weariness sets in at the third-way mark (it is 169 minutes long!) things soon pick up as a ridiculous subplot about blowing up Texan oil wells to prevent an even bigger disaster from happening kicks in.

That is when knows this movie is sheer unadulterated fantasy: the fictional president played here by Beau Bridges may resemble a slightly pudgier George W. Bush, but there is no way in hell that the real George W. would have ordered those oil wells destroyed!

THE DISC: No extras.

WORTH IT? If you have an appreciation for this sort of clichéd silliness, then 10.5 Apocalypse isn't a bad way to kill three hours of daytime TV viewing. Sometimes the unnecessarily nervous camerawork and editing threatens to spoil one's enjoyment of the film, but then another zinger piece of dialogue like ?Your brother died a hero, you know? comes along and you're in Mystery Science Theater 3000 heaven again.

RECOMMENDATION: Goofy and never emotionally overwrought
? besides who wants real-life trauma in something like this? ? 10.5 Apocalypse isn't really any good, but it's still kinda fun.



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