All right, let's struggle through this. The Sci-Fi Channel's 'Cerberus' is one of those movie that doesn't really give you much of anything, as it is pretty stinky, but not stinky enough to excite anybody. I actually forgot I watched it until I checked the front page of this very website and saw the cover art. Damn, I put up the cover art but forgot to write a review. That's what 'Cerberus' does for you.
Marcus Cutter (Greg Evigan) is observing the breast plate of the warrior Attila along with some museum curator, pretending be all intelligent and stuff, since he's wearing eye-glasses because only smart people wear eye-glasses. But he's not intelligent and instead is a murderous mercenary dispatched to steal the breastplate of Attila. He orders the dude to open it, the dude refuses, so Marcus just breaks the glass which he could've done in the first place. Then one of his henchman guts the curator, even though they really needed this curator to decipher the cryptic writing on the breastplate. Marcus is really mad at this guy, but if he had simply told his underlings from go, 'Hey, remember… don't gut the curator', then we wouldn't have had a problem.
Now who's gonna decipher the cryptic markings? Say Hello to New York City Museum of Natural Art curator Dr. Samantha Gaines (Emmanuelle Vaugier). Turns out, being a student of the gutted dude we mentioned earlier, that she's the only other person on the entire planet Earth who can decipher this stuff, so Cutter, under the orders of the super evil North Korean deposed general Kul Jae Sung (Garret Sato), kidnaps her no good brother (Brent Florence) so that they can force Samantha to do their bidding. Makes sense to me. And how bad is General Sung if the North Koreans kicked his ass out. That's a mean dude right there.
Turns out General Sung wants the Sword of Attila, which the breast plate will lead the decipherer to, and once holding the sword, the user will become invincible. It so happens that General Sung has the launch briefcases for a crapload of nuclear missiles and he needs the sword to bolster his position on oppressing the planet. One would think launch codes for nukes would be good enough, but not for my man Sung. Also, legend has it has it that the Sword of Attila is guarded by Cerberus, the three headed dog with a serpent for a tail. What legend is this? No legend that I'm aware of. Probably would've been more prudent to go with the Sword of Hercules or something like that, since those mythologies line up a little better, but who am I to argue with screenwriter Raul Ingles?
The good news for us and Samantha is that we have super heroic special agent Jake Adams (Sebastian Spence), and his disposable best friends, which includes our director John Terlesky and actor Michael Cory Davis, a brother we seen eviscerated in a large number of really bad movies. Cerberus is probably gonna get him in this one, Aliens laid him out in both Alien Siege and Alien Apocalypse, I think he was gored in 'The Vault' and he got devoured in the worst movie of them all.. Raptor Island. Keep it going Cory!
The bad news is that Cutter has found the sword and has decided to keep it, mainly because it makes him all immortal and stuff, and he also wants the launch codes so that he can rule the world. The worst news, because we haven't mentioned it much, is that Cerberus has left the vault and is now on the surface and is ripping Romanians to shreds. People who had nothing to do with taking the sword that it was supposed to protect. This makes Cerberus both lousy at his job and a dick to boot. Bad CGI and lame sword fighting shall ensue.
At the very least I think one has to appreciate the scope of the effort put into 'Cerberus'. It's Tomb Raider meets Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Greek Mythology meets The Hunan Empire meets a lot of other stuff, with all of this stuff thrown in a pot, stirred together and set on 'simmer' for about 90 minutes. We admire that. And the truth of the matter is that 'Cerberus', at least as far as the Sci-Fi original film goes, isn't all that bad really. John Terlesky's direction is competent, if not inspired, Greg Evigan made for an okay bad guy, Sebastian Spence was a decent hero, Emmanuelle Vaugier is always easy to look at. The problem, of course, is that you just can't compare this movie to other Sci-Fi originals as it has to stand its own, and therein 'Cerberus' just collapses because it is so, well, lazy.
The plot, the performances, the pacing, the effects… while we've seen worst, we've also seen better which gave 'Cerberus' the feeling that its main goal was just getting it over with, hopefully under budget. Even the climax, which you would think would be the tour de force, featuring a regular guy having to do battle with a dude who is virtually a god in addition to a murderous three-headed dog, was so anti-climactic that it just lends itself to the feeling that it just wanted to be over and done with.
Sometimes worse is better. Does that make any sense? Not really, just saying a really bad Sci-Fi original can bring more joy than a mediocrely bad Sci-Fi original. Mediocrely is not really a word by the way.