12 July 2013 | TheLittleSongbird
Somebody pass the fire extinguisher...
If there was a redeeming quality, it was Terry O'Quinn. He was great on LOST, and while his character is nowhere near as interesting he does do his best here and is quite commanding. The same cannot be said for the other actors who are all unbearably wooden and emotionless. When they don't act like they genuinely care or are living their characters' situations, at best they were indifferent, it is very difficult to be properly drawn in. Good characters and writing would have helped, but Ring of Fire manages to not even have those either. The characters are badly underwritten ciphers(for a three hour miniseries there was no excuse for this), the sort of stereotypes that we see all the time in movies featuring on the SyFy channel, and they are never more than that. The dialogue is clunky, overly-talky and dissolves too much into tedious melodrama and overlong exposition, it is often very over-familiar stuff that is made even more painful by awkward line delivery. There is very little to be invested in the story either. It was increasingly predictable(especially in the second half) and takes far too long to get going, two thirds of the first half is set-up exposition, and the excessive padding isn't enough to let go of the feeling that there wasn't enough story to sustain a three-hour running time. That there are too many sub-plots and none are particularly engaging is part of the problem as well. If it was done in half the time, with less dialogue, fewer subplots, more action and more attention to character, Ring of Fire would have been much more successful. Ring of Fire even looks as though it was made in a rush, with a unappealingly drab and grainy colour palette. There's been worse use of shaky cam, but it was distractingly over-used and the constant jerky movements are enough to make anybody seasick. There's also been worse CGI but that's not saying much, it's still dully rendered. Overall, a disaster in itself really. Terry O'Quinn is the least bad thing about it but even at the halfway mark I found myself begging for a fire extinguisher, the fact that I make it my business not to judge a movie/series without seeing the whole thing was the sole motivation for sticking with it. 2/10 Bethany Cox