STARRING: Brian J. Smith, Danielle
Nicolet, Kate Vernon, Tamzin Merchant, Devon Graye, Gordon Kennedy, Robert
2011, 93 Minutes, Directed by:
a movie about some radical ‘Seventies terrorist group as the title might lead
one to believe, but instead a made-for-TV movie based on a lesser-known video
game of the same name.
It is the year 2145 and a
colonized Mars is now independent of Earth. Looking suspiciously like refitted
abandoned warehouses and boiler rooms made to look like sets from
Total Recall, the planet is however divided between
several hostile factions.
Hero is of the piece is Jake
(Brian J. Smith), who belongs to the Red Faction (called that because, well,
they’re on Mars and they seemingly have a thing for old Soviet propaganda
posters). During a mission to salvage a recently crashed spaceship, Jake comes
across someone he believes to be his sister who was kidnapped as a child by a
On his rogue mission to find
and save his sister Jake however uncovers a plot by a secret third force to
ignite a war between the Red Faction and their rivals, the Marauders (called
that because it sounds kinda mean one supposes).
When it comes to the scraping
of the bottom of the Sarlac pit world of Syfy movies then Red Faction
stands heads and shoulders above the likes of
The Almighty Thor and
Battle of Los Angeles. That however
doesn’t mean that it is any good though . . .
Normally one would say that
this sort of thing is strictly for fans of the game, but judging from the amount
of online whining they aren’t too happy about the liberties the movie took with
the source material as movie adaptations are wont to do. That, plus the fact
that it is a TV movie boasting the sort of cheapo special effects and sets one
would expect from an episode of
StarGate Atlantis instead of a $200 million James Cameron blockbuster. (The
episode was directed by a Battlestar
Galactica regular by the way. In Bulgaria it seems.)
Still, the production values
(sets, effects, photography, etc.) are much better than most recent Syfy fare.
Acting is stiff though and the screenplay could have done with more surprises.
Red Faction isn’t
outright bad, but just on the bland and dull side of things. Maybe the producers
can take a more adventurous route in future movies. As the title suggests it is
a prequel of sorts and we’re sure that if they can maybe hire a bona fide
science fiction writer to hammer out a screenplay for them the producers might
just wind up using those retrofitted sets on a more worthy outing next time . .