Planetfall (2006) – By Duane L. Martin

 Planetfall is a film that takes place in the future on some other planet far, far away. A drug was developed that gave people psychic / telekinetic abilities, which they then used to express their pent up anger and started a psychic war. Well the war is basically over now, and the government has collected up most of what’s left of the drug in this huge military container that has somehow been captured by the Psions. You can guess who they are just by the name. Well the head Psion wants to get into the container so he can get the drug and be uber powerful, but he can’t because the thing is pretty much indestructible and you need a code to get into it. A code which our pissy little Psion leader doesn’t have.

Enter the bounty hunters. Each is a woman and each has a male partner, but each is after the container for different reasons. One’s after it for money and one’s after it to destroy it so she can set right the wrongs of her father the president. It’s only after they meet up at the end that the one who’s after it for money changes her tune and they start to work together against a common enemy.

There was much to be admired about this movie and much that could have been better. I’ll start with what could have been better.

First of all, the script could have used a lot of work. The dialogue and story were ok, but the the story could have been better and more clearly developed. This would have aided in better character development as well. After watching the movie, I can honestly say that I couldn’t tell you more than maybe one or two of the character’s names from memory. They were just that unmemorable. I personally even had a hard time getting into the story because early on it was confusing and not overly clear about the set up. It’s not until maybe a third or half way through the film that things have solidified and become cohesive enough for you to really get into what’s going on.

As for the acting, it was average at best with only a few performances that stood out as being slightly better than the others. Most of the problems with the acting came from the delivery of the dialogue. It was far too stiff and rehearsed sounding. There was no naturalness to the line delivery, which made it even harder to connect with any of the characters.

So as not to seem overly critical, I do have to say there were some good things about this film as well. The set design, costumes, make up, props and pretty much everything about the look of the film were all extremely well done and really shows the dedication they had to taking you to a different place and time in the story. There was also copious amounts of CGI work in the film, creating huge and otherworldly scenes that the actors were then placed into when appropriate. The scenes weren’t up to say Hollywood standards, but they were really well done and went a long way towards giving the film it’s special and highly memorable look.

The music and sound design in this film were both well done as well. The music was appropriate to the scenes and wasn’t mixed in so heavy as to walk on any of the dialogue and the sound effects were just great.

So where does that leave us? Well, this film, while it had a lot of potential and did look nice, was merely average when it came to the content of the story, and was dragged down even further by the unnaturalness of the acting. Should you see it? Sure, it’s definitely worth a look. It’s not by any means at all a bad film. It just could have used some work in certain areas.

The DVD itself is a great package. It comes fully loaded with Dolby 5.1 surround, Dolby 2.0 stereo, English subtitles (something really rare to find in lower budget films and something I’d like to see more of), a behind the scenes documentary, a production design featurette, a travel doc for the historic Pickwick Mill, and interview with Ted V. Mikels, and deleted scenes. They really did load up the disc and do it right.

If you’d like to find out more about this film you can check out the film’s website at http://carschoolfilms.com/planetfall/themovie.html.