I saw this film the other night for the first time in years and I have to say that I think I enjoyed it then just as much as I did when I saw it all those years ago in '97 when it was first released.
The Relic is a very enjoyable "creature feature" with quite a few good tense moments, the odd occasion of dark humour, and some very nice practical effects some of which still hold up even in this day and age. Is it an amazingly original film? No, but it definitely doesn't deserve some of the criticism that I've seen some people give it.
Up until recently I never even knew that this was actually based on a book, but after reading some reviews in regards to the book, I'm actually a wee bit surprised at how different the movie seems to be from it, most notably the character of FBI Agent Pendergast. Now I'm not naive enough to not know that a lot of movies can - and often do - drift away from the books (Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining being a great example), but it seemed strange to leave out such a big character. In saying that, I've not read the book so I can't really compare one over the other, but as I mentioned earlier, the film is still enjoyable in it's own right.
The cast do a decent job for the main part, but the only thing I didn't really like was that Tom Sizemore was a bit over-the-top for some of his scenes. He was still good, but it was just those few moments that stopped him from being that bit better.
If you've never seen this film before don't expect a huge array of creature CGI effects either - or a huge array of CGI effects, period. There are CGI moments, but the vast majority of effects you see in the film are practical, which isn't altogether a bad thing because how many films get released these days where it's nothing but CGI to compensate for an anorexic story line (Pacific Rim anyone?). Here, story precedes effects.
If you've not seen it before then The Relic is definitely worth a watch.
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