Main cast: Kellan Lutz (Sy Lombrok), Daniel MacPherson (Lt Kane Sommerville), Isabel Lucas (Gyp), Luke Ford (Bill), Rachel Griffiths (General Lynex), Temuera Morrison (Warden Mourdain), Bren Foster (Charles Kreat), Dwaine Stevenson (The Ragged), Firass Dirani (Clarence Carmel), Harry Pavlidis (Hopper Joe), Paul Winchester (Mandel), Zoe Ventoura (Sgt Cognit), Brendan Clearkin (Bostok Kramer), and Teagan Croft (Indi Sommerville)
Director: Shane Abbess
If you think you have seen a number of the cast somewhere else before, you likely have watched Infini some time in the past. Yes, the verbosely-titled Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child is largely brought to you by the same folks that made and starred in that other movie. The Australian science-fiction movie industry probably isn’t that big in the first place, I guess. But hey, it spared no expenses roping in Hollywood star… oh wait, that’s Kellan Lutz. Still, could be worse; they could have roped in Ryan Merriman.
Just like Infini, this one doesn’t have a Hollywood-tier budget, so don’t expect too much in terms of CGI. The movie poster looks far more triple-A than anything here, but to be fair, the CGI is for the most part good enough to set the tone and ambiance. There is no forgiving the turd-covered mutant ninja turtles, though – I can’t help shrieking in horrified laughter when I first see them. What happened? Was someone drunk when they came up with that, and then later realized, oops, there wasn’t enough money to redo everything so they had to just push ahead with those things?
Still, I have to give this movie credit: it presents a no-nonsense, almost old-school tale of tarnished heroism and what not, wrapped in a pulp fiction-style package, that I can’t help but to be charmed.
Despite Kellan Lutz being given prominence in the movie poster, the movie is shared almost equally between his and Daniel MacPherson’s character. Mr MacPherson’s Kane Sommerville recently transferred to a planet that looks suspiciously like the Australian outbacks. He wants a change of scenery after his divorce, so he’s that quintessential hero that drinks too much but pulls together when he has to in order to protect his loved ones. Indeed, this is what happens: while his daughter is here for a visit, crap happens.
Now, what happens here is that this planet was originally inhabited by those turtle creatures who could shoot their frog-like extendable tongues into other species and cause those creatures to transform into their fellow turtle creatures. The humans have managed to kick those things out of the picture, mostly, but unknown to most people, the evil corporation Exor that also runs the prison has their prisoners transformed into those turtle creatures. This movie zips along at such a fast pace, often jumping back and forth in terms of chronology, so I don’t recall why they do this. Maybe they think the turtles look cute. They sort of, by the way, which makes them more comical than terrifying and hence, these King Koopa-lookalikes break my immersion by making me laugh each time they show up.
Anyway, trouble begins when a bunch of inmates, led by Sy Lombrok, stage a breakout. Only, the crazy one, Charles Kreat, lets go of the Bowsers kept in the prison as well. Now these mutant ninja turtles are out of a rampage, killing everybody and anybody. To cover up their misdeeds, Exor decide to nuke the whole planet. Yes, that’s right, these people aren’t overreacting at all. The cover story given is that the prisoners are on a rampage and things are out of control, but a friend in the higher-up warns Kane of what is going to happen.
Kane breaks rank to retrieve his daughter, only for his plane to be shot down by Exor’s people. He is found by Sy, who tells Kane that he is a nurse, and those two end up working together to find the daughter, Indi. They have less than 24 hours, and the clock is ticking.
Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child has no edgy stuff or heavy-handed political messages, making it a nice change from many current science fiction offerings for folks who are getting a bit weary of that kind of stuff. There is angst, of course, with Kane wanting to be a good father and Sy carrying a lot of baggage from his time before he was thrown into prison. Indi is a very annoying brat, but fortunately, she’s not central to the story. The two men are pretty cute together in that Kane is actually quite naïve when dealing with shady low-life sorts, and Sy has to be the one to come to his rescue now and then. Both of them have familiar, even clichéd manly man character arcs, but the actors brood and scowl well enough to make these characters work.
In fact, much of this movie feels like throwbacks to other pulpy science fiction movies of a few decades ago, as it is packed to the gills with standard tropes. However, the movie doesn’t play by the rules sometimes when it comes to deciding who lives and who dies. This adds a little bit of unpredictability to the otherwise standard, somewhat generic film.
As for eye candy, the two leading men are pretty attractive on their own right. Kellan Lutz keeps his clothes on, bummer, but Daniel MacPherson struts around early on in skin-tight pants that bulge in all the right places, so yay. Unfortunately, Isabel Lucas is a bit too thin and greasy-looking here, so I’m not sure how folks who like looking at ladies will react to her. Also, why have Bren Foster in a movie and make him keep his clothes on, again?
At any rate, this is a pretty enjoyable movie. Yes, it won’t revolutionize the genre, and the ninja turtles are pretty bad, honestly. Still, the cast puts in the effort to make things work despite the generic script. If you want something simple and straightforward, just good old fashioned bros-in-action stuff with science fiction gloss, this one may fit the bill.