4 March 2005 | rsoonsa
Somewhat Less Than Tolerable On All Levels.
Ostensibly the initial Canadian produced film that was intended for pay television, this dreck could not have developed a sense of entitlement within its creators, since it fails to entertain a viewer and it is apparent throughout the piece that creative cinematic values are subservient to what may have been intended to be a pastiche, leaving one to wonder as to what, if anything, could be the movie's purpose. The plot, stated to have some basis in a story by Arthur Conan Doyle, bears upon a search for an aggregation of ten meteorite fragments, believed to be somewhere in a Mexican jungle, the stones said to possess properties essential in the construction of an overwhelmingly potent laser-based military weapon. A reporter avid for a journalistic scoop (Simon McCorkindale), along with an archaeologist (John Marley), head an expedition to locate the stones, accompanied, as will be expected, by two young females (Louise Vallance/Blanca Guerra) and upon nearing their target, they meet competition from a reptilian arms dealer. This picture does not succeed as satire, as an adventure, or for that matter in any mode, the acting being uninspired with both McCorkindale and Guerra doffing their apparel often, a poor aesthetic choice here, and since stunt performers occupy a good deal of the screen time, in the end one perceives clearly that the need for a sounder script should have received priority over stunt work. Filmed in Mexico and with an adequate budget, the film is advantaged with the efforts of Laszlo George as cinematographer, and editor Ralph Brunjes, but flaccid direction, an inane scenario and sloppy post-production efforts convert what was possibly intended as an old-fashioned adventure tale into an unintended farce; a correct action would have been to keep this mess in its can.