Directed by Jay Weisman
Written by Tony Burgess
Starring Mei Melançon, Bill Sage, Sonequa Martin-Green
87 mins - Action | Sci-Fi - Release date: 2 September 2015 (DVD premiere)
Shockwave Darkside, written and directed by Jay Weisman, attempts to tell a tried-and-tested story in a new setting, but ultimately fails to succeed on many levels. The story was confusing, the actors selected for their roles weren’t convincing (although the acting wasn’t terrible), the CG were cutting-edge if this had been made in 1990, the costumes were atrocious, and it ultimately doesn’t live up to its synopsis.
For your reference, here’s the synopsis:
It is the last, great war. Out of the wreckage of a troop transport, five soldiers on the way to battle find themselves stranded on the dark side of the moon. Cut off and behind enemy lines, they start a dangerous journey through snipers and minefields back to their home territory. As their numbers dwindle and nerves fray, they make an amazing discovery about the moon that just might save their lives.
It’s a cool idea, having two factions, one being banished humans and the other possibly being alien, and having an outpost on the moon in search of frozen water, but there’s no real sense of urgency, much less a terrible war going. I guess that was just one of limitations the filmmakers encountered with this low-budget project.
Another, but not the last, budgetary problem was with the CG. It’s questionable whether or not things could have been worse. The spacecrafts and the explosions look like they belong in aprototype. They’re godawful, and based on those alone the filmmakers should have second guessed the decision to release the movie.
Related to the CG is the effect to show the audience the heads-up display that the characters see. When they showed it, it dominated the screen, making it difficult to see or focus on anything else. Honestly, we could have lived with seeing this treat once, but as it turns out the makers loved it and used the effect relentlessly, which was a horrible idea.
I’m not even going to get into the wardrobe. If you want to know, just watch the trailer:
Not for lack of effort on the actors’ part, but none of them made believable soldiers. I won’t go into it much more than that because I know that each one of them did their best. I will say, however, that despite the synopsis, there really isn’t much of a “as their numbers dwindle” going on here. At least it didn’t feel like it, and when someone does die there isn’t any real sense of loss that puts the party in peril.
No doubt this project looked better on paper, and with its attempt to discuss theological topics and to reflect our own divisions here on earth, a book would have been more appropriate.