Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

After watching Uwe Boll’s latest video game adaptation, Crytek’s ‘Far Cry’, it’s one of the more disappointing films from the rather prolific, much maligned German auteur that I’ve seen. Recognize that ‘Far Cry’ is actually a far better film from Boll than say his ‘Alone in the Dark’ or ‘Bloodrayne’ series and we won’t even get into the insanity that was ‘A Dungeon Siege Tale’ but with his ‘Postal’ being a most watchable venture and his Vietnam war film ‘Tunnel Rats’ – which I haven’t gotten around to scribbling my review of yet – being just a flat out good movie I thought perhaps Mr. Boll might be on a bit of a run here. Not so fast my friends because Mr. Boll made a critical decision which ultimately sunk this movie, which is a shame because the potential was there for a damn good solid action flick.

‘Far Cry’ opens on a remote tropical island with some Soldiers of Fortune being hunted by some unseen predator, and despite their firepower, they are brutally overmatched. Cut to the laboratory of the eeeevil molecular geneticist Dr. Krieger (Udo Kier) who has gone and done made himself an invincible super soldier. None too happy about this is these slaughtered soldiers boss Col. Parker (Craig Fairbass) who didn’t sign his men up to be cannon fodder, though being the good soldier he is, he continues to honor his contract. Also wary of these developments is one Max Cardinal (Ralf Moeller). Who and why Max is here on this island I never quite figured out, but his character is the lynchpin of the narrative in that he is shooting classified information over to his niece Valerie (Emmanuelle Vaugier), an investigative reporter who wants to expose Dr. Krieger’s evil experiments.

To get to the island of Dr. Krieger, our hot, hard hitting investigative reporter will require the assistance of the hard drinking dingy captain / special forces badass Jack Carver (Til Schweiger) who used be an associate of Max back in the pair’s killin’ days. Jack doesn’t think it’s all that good an idea for the cute little reporter to traipse off

in these woods all by herself but she is a big girl and can probably take care of herself, that is until the reporter is taken hostage and a rocket blows up Jack’s boat forcing our reticent special forces badass in the unwanted position of rescuing this woman and kicking much ass in the process.

The problem for Jack in these proceedings is that the odds are really against him as he has to deal with Col. Parker’s heavily armed group of mercenaries, the mercenaries led by the eeeeeevil but hot Russian minx Katja Chernov (Natalia Avelon) and about a dozen or so bulletproof, super fast, super angry genetically altered super soldiers. Good luck with that Jack.

The last twenty or so minutes of ‘Far Cry’ is when ‘Far Cry’ became the movie that I thought it was going to be. There was lots and lots of action and shooting and running and dying and killing, with Boll taking full advantage of his athletic leading man and the leading man’s more athletic stunt double as one the chase scenes in particular was so sweet that it would make even the most gifted Parkour athlete weep. But to get to the last twenty minutes of the movie you have to trudge through the first seventy or so minutes of the movie. The critical mistake that Boll made when crafting this film is that he decided to attempt to make it ‘funny’. I’ve actually played ‘Far Cry’ the video game and in a lot of respects this story is fairly faithful to the game, but I sure don’t recall the videogame having a lot of humor in it. Obviously when one is adapting a videogame into a film, changes have to made, but should there be changes made with the overall tone of the game? I don’t think so. If Boll was making a movie out of one those ‘Rayman’ videogames then there I would expect attempts at humor but ‘Far Cry’? Oh hell no. You have Schweiger and Vaugier who seem to be doing there best Tracey and Hepburn, which may very well work in a romantic comedy but doesn’t work all that well in an action flick featuring super fast invincible zombie soldiers. I’m sure Chris Coppola is a good friend of Uwe Boll, and being a good friend of Uwe Boll isn’t a bad thing because if nothing else my man is loyal in putting the same actors in all of his movies, but did we really need a fat comic relief guy in this movie? Again, I don’t think so. Why Boll decided to make this movie an action / comedy is beyond me.

So here you are. With ‘Far Cry’ you have a good opening followed by a solid conclusion of twenty or so thrilling minutes of action movie, bracketing well over an hour of some pretty bad comedy. Is it worth struggling through some misplaced comedy to see some pretty decent action? Probably not my friends, probably not.

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