Red Faction Origins

June 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Syfy, Television | Leave a comment

Let me preface this by saying that I do not play video games so I approached this movie with no background knowledge whatsoever, and solely on its own merits; a virgin so to speak.  Let me also say, coming from that point of view, I liked it overall.

The location of the story is Mars and the background premise is this: a rebellion took place a number of years before the movie opens.  The Red Faction (miners) and the Marauders joined forces to defeat the EDF (Earth Defense Force, aka The Bad Guys) and kicked them off the planet.  After the defeat of the EDF, Red Faction and the Marauders had a serious falling out (as in killing each other on sight).  This falling out is partly due to Red Faction hero Alec Mason’s wife and daughter being killed by Marauders.  Alec’s son Jake survived but as a result of the murders of his wife and daughter, Alec has turned into a drunk.  Overcompensating for not being able to save his sister, Jake went the opposite route.  He’s part of Red Faction’s security force, even arresting his own father for drunk and disorderly.

The movie very nicely sets this up, making it easy for the Red Faction novice (like me) to grasp the basics at the beginning and follow along without confusion.  The remainder of the story consists of Jake (while on a mission to recover viable parts from an old EDF weapons platform) discovering his sister is not dead, joining force with a pair of Marauders to track her down, learning that the EDF isn’t quite as gone as everyone on Mars thought they were, and trying to prevent an all-out war between Red Faction and The Marauders.

While the story itself was fairly predictable, and I either never found out or missed exactly how the Marauders came to be, the strength of the movie was in the actors’ portrayals.  To be expected, there were a number of familiar Syfy faces — Brian J. Smith, Robert Patrick, Kate Vernon and Danielle Nicolet (you may remember her as Reese, the replicator creator on SG-1).  Every actor turned in a good performance, but I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Jake (Smith) and Tess (Nicolet).  The two actors played off each other well and added some needed light-hearted moments to the movie.  And, after the disappointment that was SGU, it was nice to see Brian J. Smith actually being able to showcase more of his talent.  He played a rather cliche role in a non-cliche manner.  As well, Robert Patrick well managed a very cliche role and lifted it into believability.  Devon Graye also turned in a commendable performance, and I’d like to see more from him in the future.

Another aspect that added to Red Faction Origins were the sets.  I found them visually entertaining, and yes, they may have been seen before in other shows, but that didn’t detract from how well they fit in this movie.  While, by and large, there was a gritty feel to almost every set (the sole exception being the EDF base of operations; a cold and sterile place). There was a different gritty feel to each.  You would not mistake a Red Faction town for somewhere else on Red Faction’s Mars.

The conclusion of the movie left the door open to a series and I wouldn’t be opposed to that development.  I could see it spinning off into a promising series, and honestly Syfy needs a good, pure scifi series.  If you missed Red Faction Origins last night, you can catch it Monday, June 6 at 5:30 PM Eastern time on Syfy Channel.

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot

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