VOICES OF: Terence Stamp, John Hurt, Sean Pertwee

2010, 70 Minutes, Directed by:
Martyn Pick

Clocking in at a mere 70 minutes – a good twenty minutes shorter than the average 90 minutes running time of most motion pictures – one doesn’t exactly expect War & Peace of this computer-animated movie based on the Warhammer 40, 000 fictional universe.

However the story is so disappointingly threadbare that one cannot help but be disappointed when the end credits roll: a squad of space marines (here called Ultramarines) answers a distress call from a distant planet. Soon they find themselves battling hordes of alien creatures and foil a plot to spread an alien infestation to other human worlds.

So very Aliens indeed, and derivative plotting aside the Warhammer 40,000 setting doesn’t help things either. Warhammer 40,000 may be a popular table-top science fantasy miniature war game, but the movie feels like one long extended cut scene from a videogame instead, probably a PC game dating from a decade or so back considering how clunky the animation is. Everything is oh so serious and humorless and the heroes come across as macho proto-fascists overdosing on testosterone. That they are rather interchangeable and all look the same doesn’t help matters either.

The dialogue are real clunkers too: “Chaos breaks men’s souls. Chaos brings the pestilence of daemons. Every time we march from our beloved fortress home on Macragge, we march to face down Chaos, and banish it. Do you think you are ready to do that Proteus?” The British all-star cast of Terence Stamp (Zod in Superman II), John Hurt (Alien) and Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon) definitely deserved their paychecks for saying such mouthfuls!

On the plus side dialogue is thankfully kept to a minimum and there is loads of action for undemanding viewers. Ultimately the film’s short running time and dated computer graphics count against it however.

(Note: at the time of writing this movie is not available via ordinary retailers and can only be ordered from the official movie website:  It is obviously intended to cash in on all the Warhammer 40,000 fans out there, but is accessible to newbies as well.)



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