Let's Hope Malkovich Was Paid Handsomely for Mutant Chronicles

Scottish-born director Simon Hunter isn't obviously related to his post-apocalyptic indie actioner's barrel-chested sergeant Mitch Hunter, though the latter certainly speaks for both of them when he growls: "I'm not paid to believe. I'm paid to fuck shit up." Thomas Jane self-seriously zings more cheeseball one-liners as the aforementioned protagonist in this ultra-ultraviolent, faux-spiritual adaptation of a popular pen-and-paper role-playing game. (How idea-starved is the movie biz? Candy Land is currently in the works.) At the end of an Ice Age, the year 2707 sucks, as mankind is now ruled by four warring corporations. Amidst the feud—an overeager production designer's World War I–meets-steampunk hell of grimy noir hues and candy-apple CGI plasma splatters—a long-buried seal is accidentally broken, releasing a near-infallible horde of Necromutants, former humans with bone scimitars for arms and a zombie-like bloodlust. If I followed correctly, though a film this monotonous will make you zone out, Mitch and a motley crew of mercenaries (Ron Perlman as a badass monk, Anna Walton as a sword-wielding badass mute, et al.) have to destroy "the Machine" to advance to the next video game level. Our heroes are offed one by one, some shit definitely gets fucked up, and I dearly hope John Malkovich got paid handsomely for his two days of embarrassment on-set.

 
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