Sunday, September 19, 2004

Darklight Darksucks

I just finished watching Darklight, a brand new Sci Fi Channel movie. The premise as previously posted, from the official website:
A secret society fights evil with evil in this atmospheric original thriller.

Shiri Appleby (TV's Roswell), Richard Burgi (The Sentinel, SCI FI Pictures' Decoys), John de Lancie (Q from the Star Trek franchise) and David Hewlett (Stargate Atlantis, SCI FI Pictures' Boa vs. Python, the indie hit Cube) star in this tale of an ancient demoness named Lilith, who has been captured by a secret society known as The Faith.

Her true nature concealed by a powerful spell, Lilith lives as a 24-year-old woman with no memory of her ageless past — until William Shaw (Burgi) of The Faith recruits her to help him stop the Demonicos, a rampaging monster that is spreading a lethal plague across the Earth and whose only vulnerability is to Lilith's unique mystical power, known as Darklight.

As the duo race to slay the creature, they unwittingly expose a treacherous conspiracy within The Faith itself. Lilith has the power to set things right — but now that she has been reawakened to her true nature, will she resume her own evil ways? Trusting her is a life-or-death gamble for humanity, but it's one that William Shaw has no choice but to take.
Couple things before I launch into my scathing review. The "fighting evil with evil" aspect of the movie is overrated. While Lilith's past is mired in darkness and evil, none of that shows through in her current incarnation. Also, that "treacherous conspiracy within The Faith itself," yeah that's a bit overrated too. The conspiracy is more like a one-man uprising that has absolutely no overall purpose. Another sore point.

I suppose I've leaned into my review already. Let's start with the character of Lilith. In this movie she is far underplayed. Nothing is ever revealed as to her innate nature of evil and violence. NOTHING. If I were doing this, I would have made the entire character far darker and mysterious rather than entirely neutral/good and forgotten. Just not well done at all. The only character actually of note in the movie is William Shaw, played by The Sentinel guy. He has the only truly moral battle of the entire movie, and that's saying something for a movie about the "evil Lilith."

The main fight scene. Wow. It stunk to high heaven. (Hehe, pun.) The main portion of it was CGI generated (I know, redundant). AND not well-generated at that. Very clearly done on a computer. If this movie were done 5-10 years ago, it might not be so bad. But I expect better computer animation these days. In addition, the mechanics of the sequence are pitiful. "Gee, flying monster vs. flying monster, so I'll have one of them throw the other off a roof and the one that's falling, yeah she won't remember she can fly to save herself from bottoming out." Pathetic really. Same for other strategies employed. "Gee, he can fly and likes to swoop down from above so I'll run up some steps out in the open with the guy I'm trying to save. The monster probably won't swoop down from above or land right in front of me, no siree." Absolutely inane. I would have had gone down, underground - remove that favored element of the bad guy. Sheesh! AND WHAT THE HELL IS TOXIC ADHESIVE?!?!? Yeah, find me a good answer for that and I'll award you a kewpie doll.

Overall, the movie really stunk. Poorly implemented, over-hyped and poor fight scenes. My biggest beef is that this was a good premise. I really liked the story (before I saw the movie) and had high hopes for the movie. I know it's only a made-for-TV Sci Fi Channel movie but that's no excuse for the tripe they developed. For cryin out loud, it's definitely a bad sign when I'm yelling at the movie characters to use some common friggin' sense! AAAARRRGGHH!!!!

Anyways, good story, poor execution. If you're curious, check it out but don't hope for too much and you might not be so disappointed.