The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus Review


It’s time to look at a classic short about the origin of Santa Claus. It involves cosmic beings and a debate on if mortals should become immortals. It’s a pretty fun special but one where the length works against it to an extent as it ends so quickly. The plot appears to be on turbo mode the whole time so you’ll stay entertained, but Santa doesn’t get to properly prove himself. By the end of the special you’ll be on the fence about making him an immortal. If anything you may want to give him the thumbs down.

The short has a time jump near the beginning but essentially when Santa was a boy he was raised by a tiger. After that he was stolen by a fairy god and taken to the realm of the gods. They showed him how to live and eventually showed him how sad Earth was in comparison. Still, Santa decided that he needed to go there and help those who couldn’t help themselves. He was given a few holy beings to help him as well as some sprites. At last he could make the world a better place for those who didn’t have enough. He would make Christmas fun for everyone. Unfortunately, some cave trolls don’t like this and decide that they will rob all of Santa’s presents for themselves. Can Santa stop them or will he needs the gods to save him?

Naturally you’ll hope that it’s the former right? Unfortunately, Santa is able to do very little against these guys. He barely even tries to come up with a good plan and just does the same things over and over again. He insists on just walking through this dangerous valley over and over again to no avail. Santa is a nice guy of course, but he just doesn’t seem all that capable. Without all of the magical beings helping him I feel like he would have been absolutely doomed. The guy wouldn’t have even known how to live on his own since he was raised in a world where food is unlimited.

I will admit that the scene where the gods show up to fight the trolls was hype though. In particular, the Great Ak (The main god) shows up and basically tells the trolls to surrender or die. They choose the latter option and that’s it for them. In stories like this the high above beings usually just watch from afar and do absolutely nothing. I’m glad that this wasn’t the case here as they should be willing to come and help Santa out. They were his friends for a while after all and want him to succeed. Maybe they should have prepared him a little more before sending him to Earth.

Also, why should Earth have all of these supernatural beings anyway? You’d think that the gods would have wiped them out or established some rules as otherwise the normal humans are basically doomed from the start. These are all world building questions though and the special is way too short to deal with all of that. These aren’t really negatives, just observations. At the end of the day I thought this special was pretty fun. It had a little more action than I had expected and the premise is pretty interesting. It’s really not what you’d think of at all when you picture a movie about Santa Claus’ origin.

I’m still not a big fan of the animation style, but what else is new right? You either like it or you don’t by this point, but it won’t really hurt the film. It does limit how good it can be from the get go, but the movie stays in the positive area. I think if it had been just a little longer it could have possibly earned an extra star, but as it stands the movie ends up losing to most of the big Santa Claus titles or the more iconic Rankin/Bass productions. There’s a reason this one isn’t very well known.

Overall, This film will certainly teach you a very interesting way to look at Santa’s origin. I’d recommend checking it out if you’re curious. You certainly aren’t very likely to see the story play out like this again. It’s not their best production but it gets the job done and since it is fairly short it’s not like it’ll take a whole lot of time out of your day to check it out. Maybe one day we’ll get another Santa origin and it’ll draw inspiration from this one.

Overall 6/10

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Astra Lost in Space


This is definitely a fairly obscure manga. It’s off to a reasonable start. I wouldn’t say that it is particularly exciting compared to most of the other big titles but it’s not bad either. I think the manga just needs its stride and then it can go to the next level. The question is whether it will find that stride in time. I’ll have a review for the series up when I have finished it.

Overall 6/10

ROM & The Micronauts Review


I haven’t read a lot of ROM so it was cool to see him take center stage here. He shares the main character role with the Micronauts as you would expect but as they are a whole team and he is just one person you can see how calling him the main lead can still be pretty valid. It’s a great comic with excellent artwork and a lot of fight scenes inside. I can safely say that the ROM comics are in good hands if they are like the ones here.

The story takes place after a big crossover event where Optimus Prime and a bunch of other big comic heroes fended off a big invasion. Now the Wraiths have begun to regroup and they are teaming up with the Baron, a big enemy of the Micronauts. They are going to work together to resurrect the Wraith god. Fortunately the Micronauts are on the case. They let ROM know that this is going on so he agrees to help them end the threat. Unfortunately the Autobots are currently busy so this group will have to do. ROM is an accomplished fighter, but what can the Micronauts do? Time to find out.

There’s a lot of action here right from the get go. I haven’t read the previous comics but I felt pretty comfortable with where the story was at. It drops enough little references for you to piece together what happened and what needs to be done. You’re thrown into the thick of it, but you always feel as though you are prepared. Another bonus for a smaller scale story like this is the stakes feel a little more real. I think I speak for many when I say that after the 50th time or so of the multiverse being at stake in DC/Marvel comics it can get a little old. In this universe it feels a lot more fresh at the very least and it’s more of a planetary threat then a universal one.

The writing is on point here. All of the characters seem pretty likable. I’d say that ROM steals the show for me. He just seems like such a great hero. The guy does what he can to save the universe and is focused on being a hero. He can be emotionless like a robot and yet not overdoing it so you can still feel his traces of humanity. He’s also the power hitter that the group needs as he can go toe to toe with any of the other villains in this comic. There’s an advertisement at the end of this collection showing off ROM vs Transformers and I can definitely see how that would be a fun battle. Honestly, ROM would probably have the edge there based on his speed.

That’s not to say that the Micronauts are bad though. They have their own mini robot who is pretty tough. He tends to talk a bigger game than what he can back up though so prepare to see him get wrecked a lot. The others feel a lot like the Doom Patrol or those classic sci-fi groups that would go on various space adventures back in the day. They’re all capable fighters and there’s a lot of history behind them. None of them particularly stand out, but they’ve all got potential to go along with their personalities. There just wasn’t much time to explore their characters with the impending crisis.

I also really liked the villains. Once again, ROM’s side won out here. The Wraiths have excellent designs and their magical abilities make them a legitimate threat to any of the heroes. The high ranking Abstract member can even go through things which is always handy. I think they didn’t need to make a deal with the Baron and come across as a little gullible at times, but I guess technically they did make Baron keep his end of the bargain so it worked out in their favor. Meanwhile the Baron is a cool villain as well. With his armor he looks like the Shredder and his power change ability makes him a tough threat as well. He’s certainly a master strategist and I have to give him some kudos for his plan. It’ll be interesting to see how the Micronauts try to get back at him.

This comic really succeeded in making you invested in both titles. I think a big part of these crossover events that has to happen is a way to get the general audience into the comic. Naturally fans of both series will already be reading it, but what about everyone else? A good crossover event is a great way to get in new readers and I think the writers did a swell job of making sure both series got a lot of representation. Both of them have many exciting adventures left in store. ROM appeals to me more because I love the aesthetic as well as all of the characters in the verse, but both are quite good and would certainly be earning a positive score from me. I don’t know when I’ll be checking out more comics in these titles but if I do you can be sure that I’ll be writing some reviews.

I usually end up talking about power levels a lot in these crossovers but there isn’t much to say. It’s clear from the start that ROM and the characters from his verse are significantly stronger than the Micronaut counterparts. Still, the latter are able to contribute because their small size helps them eradicate viruses pretty easy and they also have experience with the Baron. Shrinking ROM was also a good way to balance out their power levels. If anything I have to wonder how the Micronauts ever handle the Baron on their own because he looks way stronger than what they can deal with. So, ROM and friends may have been nerfed a little bit here, but not much and it was all handled pretty good I’d say.

Overall, This was a great comic. I always love crossovers and this one kept them at the high standard that I am used to. It was cool to see the Wraiths because up til now I never really knew who he would fight. I should also quickly mention that ROM’s two teammates were helpful as well. While they aren’t quite as strong as ROM they are certainly still formidable and should not be underestimated. The fact that these robot hybrids are effectively immortal and self repairing make them very lethal. It’s just such a cool concept behind ROM and I can’t emphasize that enough. Anyway, check this comic out, you’re sure to enjoy it!

Overall 8/10

Kromaia Ω Review


Kromaia is a game I got thanks to the big Toys R Us sale. Otherwise I don’t think I ever would have gotten to play it so this worked out well. It’s a pretty fun shooter game. The title is a little short and won’t be revolutionizing the genre, but it’s a very unique game and one that you will enjoy. Even as I type this I am tempted to go back and complete the other levels again so I can unlock the true ending. Perhaps at some point I’ll get on that. If this game ever gets a big sequel I’ll be on the lookout for that.

The game starts off with a little lore. I’m not sure I got the correct meaning from it, but what I understood is that there are 4 gods which rule this universe. They seem to have wiped out humanity in the process, but we are able to put a soul into our last spaceship. This spaceship must now go into each of the 4 corners of the universe and wipe out the deities. Fortunately as each one is content with their victory they have no way to communicate with each other so you can take them all out. If you destroy them all then you can get the key to the universe!

Each level starts off with a little message about this and your A.I. will warn you when the bosses show up. It’s a pretty fun story and the mystery angle is handled quite well. I think the story is what helps bump the game to the next level. Without it the gameplay would still be fun but the story always adds a little something extra. There are 4 levels in the game. The first part is about getting through 20 rings. Doing so will summon the boss for the big end of level fight. Each boss is unique in how you will handle them. The first one is about taking down all of the weak points while the 4th one must be overheated so you can reach them. They’re all unique and this game follows the correct standard of not reusing bosses.

Each world has a unique armor and once you’ve beaten all of them the first time you can use whichever one you want for each level. Plus if you want to unlock the final level you’ll need to beat all 4 levels with all 4 armors. It adds a little replay value and the game is just short enough where this doesn’t feel like a big grind. I do think the bosses seemed to get harder when I went back to beat them again, but maybe that’s my imagination. I only went back to the first boss to beat it the additional times so far. My favorite armor is probably the sword one. You’d think that having a close quarters combat mech in a bullet hell game would be a bad idea, but it’s really op. Pretty much any opponent will go down in a single swing to that armor. That’s how good it is.

To go a little more in depth on the gameplay, it’s 3D as I mentioned. Each armor has 2 weapons, the main attack and a charged one. Typically you’ll be focusing on the main weapon, but I recommend using the charge as soon as it’s ready. You also have a boost option which will boost in the direction you are moving in so sometimes you can use it as a full retreat option or to go towards the boss if you wish. The controls are pretty smooth once you get the hang of it. Focus on mastering each armor and you’ll be unbeatable. My least favorite was probably the green one. It’s not bad, but it felt like the weakest option.

The graphics are quite solid. There’s always a lot happening on screen and the game has a ton of character models so you can see how much heart was put into it. The level designs are really fun. You feel like you’re in another version of outer space as everything is futuristic. I also thought the soundtrack was good although it can be a little hard to hear among the constant blasting. In particular the green armor is very loud with his attacks. Kromaia went above expectations for sure. Especially as my initial impression on it wasn’t great as I first played the level earlier in the year and died. I remember putting the game down at that point and only just got back to it. The game can be a little vague on where you have to go and how to get there, but once you get used to the compass you’ll be set for the rest of the game.

There is a level up system here. I made it to level 12 but it’s hard to tell when you’re getting exp or not so I didn’t actually fight too many enemies. I’d just fly over to the boss. Apparently there are 100 levels though and I imagine that you will be incredibly powerful by that point. It helps add to the replay value. While the campaign is quite short it should still take you quite a while to reach the Platinum trophy. I got the game for around 5 or less with the 75% off at Toys R Us but 20 wouldn’t be bad. If you have to spend 30 or more then I would think twice about it. Take a look at the gameplay videos and see how it looks to you.

Overall, Kromaia was quite a bit of fun. It was more enjoyable than I thought it would be and while some games tend to be less enjoyable in hindsight it is quite the opposite for this title. There aren’t too many big 3D bullet hell games right now so if you have yet to check this genre out then Kromaia is a great way to start off. It can be a little challenging but never unfair. There are also frequent check points so you’ll eventually make it through. If any section seems impossible then try going at it with a different approach. The bosses can be deceptive but they can all be soundly defeated with the right strategy.

Overall 7/10

Mac and Me Review


It’s time Boys! Mac and Me is one of those films that you can’t help but hear of at some point in your life. It’s essentially E.T. but the knock off so it has slightly less personality. Yet….it makes for a better film. How can that be? Well, the characters are actually better. The plot is more intense and you will enjoy the McDonald scenes. The movie may not take itself very seriously but at the same time you can certainly see the heart within it.

The movie starts with a few aliens trying to survive on a planet in space. Unfortunately there aren’t too many resources at their disposal so things are not going too well for them. Fortunately the U.S. sent a probe to space and the aliens get sucked inside. This leads to what is probably the most intense scene in the entire film. The army gets ready to confront these aliens, but unfortunately they were not prepared for this level of power. The whole scene is pretty crazy since you’d expect the government to be prepared for this.

Then there is also the fact that the alien designs are completely terrible. Their heads are always shaking as the characters struggle to move forward. The whole time you’ll feel like averting your eyes and yet you can’t because you don’t want to miss out on what is happening. Well, the grown up aliens escape while one gets into the car where the main characters are at. This leads to a lot of hi jinx where the alien messes up everyone’s lives and steals the main character’s coke. Nobody believes the lead so it looks like he’ll have to force the alien out into the open. Can he do that while also stopping the government from butting in though?

From start to finish you’ll need to suspend a lot of disbelief for this movie though. After all, the government even tries to get the aliens to become citizens. Really? That doesn’t seem all that likely to me, but I suppose as long as they don’t hurt anyone nobody will care. The problem is that the aliens can’t even talk or read so it’s hard to make them citizens because they won’t know how to do the right thing. Do they even have a moral compass? I have my doubts.

Eric is the main character here and he can be a little annoying. The kid does a terrible job of trying to prove that the Macs exist and ends up nearly drowning because he approached a hill too fast. You gotta be careful when you live in danger world. His big brother isn’t any better as we get a fairly cringy romance with his character. Then you’ve got the Mom who takes a little too long to believe the main characters and tends to panic a lot. Wait…did I say that these characters are better than the ones from E.T.? Clearly those guys must not have been particularly good right?

The McDonalds party scene is surprisingly good though. You wouldn’t expect much from this kind of scene but it actually had quite a lot of hype and shows why celebrating at McDonalds will always be cool. What beats getting your favorite burger and having a dance competition at the same place? I’ll tell you what does…nothing! Of course Mac didn’t do very good there since dancing in front of the government is always going to end up finishing their search. Even the worst agent would be able to suspect that something was up by this point.

Now the government may not look great at times here like when they took their guns out so quickly, but you also have to concede that Mac and the gang didn’t handle the situation well either. They keep on walking without a care in the world as they disrupt society. The aliens appear to barely have any form of intelligence, but even so you would expect them to adapt to Earth a little better than they had. Is it really so hard to integrate into society? Making the aliens a little more likable would have really gone a long way.

The pacing is pretty decent for this movie. It doesn’t feel particularly long and the plot is usually moving so you never feel stagnant. Some scenes can be a bit hard to believe though like when the cops blow up a Wal-Mart type store to stop the aliens and everyone survives somehow. The main character almost died, but there were no casualties. I think the special effects guy was a little too zealous in his job at that point though as an explosion of that size would have absolutely wiped everything out. You simply can’t survive from such an attack.

Overall, I can’t say that Mac and Me will go down as an all time great, but it wasn’t half bad. At the very least the film tried to have some heart. I think with less kids as main characters it could have really ended up being quite good. Unfortunately kids just can’t hold their own films and this movie just serves to reinforce that. It’s not that the kids are terrible or anything, but they simply aren’t very interesting and tend to be slow on the uptake. I want a main character who is always ready for a fight and who doesn’t back down. A character like that will cause any movie to go to the next level. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I would recommend checking it out. It’s fairly decent, on the other hand it wouldn’t be hard for you to simply find a better sci-fi film to check out instead. Also alien designs don’t get worse than Mac.

Overall 5/10

Danball Senki Wars


It’s been a while since the manga came out, but it’s finally started to be scanned. It’s off to a reasonable start. The art’s a little choppy, but the plot’s good and as the show was solid I’m expecting good things from the manga as well. I’ll have a review for the series up when I’ve finished it.

Overall 7/10

Phase IV Review


It’s time to take a look at an old school horror film. This one naturally gets tricky because of course when animals are the focus you have to get a little nervous. If the ants win then they’ll probably still suffer collateral damage, but if they lose then animal violence is assured. As a result, it does feel like there is no winning at times right? Well, that’s basically the situation and unfortunately this film was not able to get past that. It was curtains from the start.

The film starts with a meteor hitting the Earth and granting the ants extra intelligence to help balance them against the humans on the food chain. The Ants decide to take over the world, but they are willing to play the long game. They decide to start off in the suburbs and quickly take the local town over. That’s when two scientists arrive to try and see what can be done about all of this. They may be in a little over their head this time though and when another family is murdered they are also forced to look after a teenage girl. Now they must either try to stay and survive in the base they have built or attempt to escape.

Ernest is the main researcher and he believes that the only way to deal with the ants is to wipe them out. He wants to beat the Ants at their best though so he toys with them for a while. Naturally the ants don’t take too kindly to this. Ernest has a serious superiority complex which also doesn’t mesh too well with the situation. He’s one of the main antagonists here as he tries to prevent Kendra from escaping the base and continually puts the heroes in a bad spot. I can’t say that he was likable.

Of course, Kendra isn’t any good either. She had a traumatic start of course since seeing your family get taken down by ants can be pretty rough. Still, she nearly sabotages the heroes from the start as she breaks a box of ants and causes Ernest to get bitten. She is pretty afraid of the ants the whole time and just can’t keep up with them. At the end she also makes a pretty poor decision which sums up her whole character arc in the film.

Finally we have James who is the last of the main character. He decided to come along and study the ants, but doesn’t realize just how serious the situation is at first. He came to have fun but is quickly thrown into this game of death. He wants a peaceful alternative to dealing with the ants, but that kind of thing never gets to work in these films. You can appreciate the attempt I guess, but at the same time it’s basically just him giving up.

As hinted at earlier the film does have animal violence which really hurts its chances. There is a dog who shows up and naturally doesn’t last long against the Ants. Any animal that gets in their way is quickly demolished. Then you’ve also got other animals like the Grasshopper who shows up and gets wrecked which is pretty unfortunate. I was rooting for him to take some names. The animal violence is pretty bad so the film was definitely sunk at this point.

It also has a bad habit of dragging on scenes forever as we just see the Ants walking around. This’ll just bore you to tears and it speaks to how low the budget must have been for this film. It was just trying to buy time throughout which was too bad. The final segment of the film at least tries to be a little interesting with the twist ending as the Ants learn how to mind control humans and reanimate the dead ones. That could make a sequel a lot more interesting, but since this only happens for the final 1-2 minutes of the film I certainly wouldn’t say that it really impacts the score. At least it didn’t end on a low note right?

I suppose the writing isn’t bad here. The characters may not be the smartest, but at least they don’t always panic right away. For the most part they make an effort to try and stay objective about the whole thing. Blowing up the Ants’ energy cannons was a good idea. I certainly do think they should have had better defenses against the Ants though. Ultimately the insects are just able to walk into their base and destroy them. Meanwhile I thought the ants did a much better job of defending themselves with their cool heat waves and such. They even had fighter Ants of various elements to try and counter whatever the humans had up their sleeves. Their army coordination was on point.

Overall, Between the animal violence and the very underwhelming trio of characters, I can’t say that Phase IV is a film I would recommend to anyone. The dog scene guarantees that and having insects as opponents is never a good idea in basically any form of media. There are a very limited amount of routes you can take here and they all lead to disaster. If you want to see a good horror film I would suggest turning back and watching Poltergeist III instead. Otherwise, you should back up and check out a different genre like Scooby Doo. Those films will always be happy to throw a few puns your way.

Overall 0/10

Metal Arms Glitch in the System Review


It’s time to look at a third person sci-fi shooter. That likely sounds pretty good, but I’m afraid that the game was certainly more on the underwhelming side. The levels were poorly designed and the game isn’t always clear on what the objective is. Throw in the game’s crazy difficulty level and you have a title that is best left on the shelf. The 10 hours it takes you to complete the game will feel like forever, but at least you will get some satisfaction out of this achievement.

The story focuses on a robot named Glitch. All of his friends and family have been taken down by the Mills. This is a different robot faction that wants to conquer the whole universe. So far their plan has gone over quite well, but Glitch will fight to the last man. To do that he must find the leader of the enemies and also destroy as many bases and factories along the way as possible. It won’t be easy, but this guy has spunk and the will to make it happen.

First off, I have to say that the story is quite bad. One of the game’s big selling points is the strong language where almost everything has to get beeped out in certain cutscenes because of how intense everyone is. It’s certainly not a joke that works well and it’s stretched out so long that it simply never had a chance. It’s rare for me to say that the writing in a video game was bad, but this was definitely one of those times. You couldn’t wait for the cutscenes to end in these instances. I guess the only good part would be the stinger that sets up the sequel. The odds of us getting a sequel are virtually 0 at this point, but a person can dream right? A sequel could be good if the game was fixed from the ground up and I have a feeling that it would be. The plot and characters are another story of course, but there’s always a chance.

The main villain is wrecked by the end as well. For the whole game you are convinced that he is a very cunning and powerful leader. He had a secret agent infiltrate our ranks and considering his large army the guy must know what he is doing right? Well, we find out by the end that the guy can’t talk and just likes to beat his chest like King Kong. He has no real character and can’t think too well. It turns out that the right hand man was the real brains behind the operation but the game could have done that without wrecking the final boss. Meanwhile none of the heroes are any good except for Glitch. I’ll say that he was a reasonable lead. The game lightly tries to make him a Hal Jordan/Han Solo kind of guy except he rarely gets to talk so it’s hard to see that. With more of a presence in the story I think he would have worked quite well.

As for the gameplay, as I mentioned it’s a TPS. When you first start you only have Glitch’s main arm cannon. As the game goes on you get a variety of weapons including the 3 best ones, a Gatling Gun, Rockets, and a Sniper Explosive. There’s also the Shotgun, but it’s basically useless until you upgrade it to level 3. At that point it becomes the best weapon in the game, but the ammo runs out almost instantly. I highly recommend upgrading all of your weapons, but getting the parts to do it can be tricky. You also always want to keep some money on hand in case you need to buy some health during a level. The levels are typically platformer style so you have to get to the end while fulfilling some kind of objectives. Keep blasting and the way will be known to you. If you pause the game you will also see a vague mission outline as well which can help you if you’re stuck. The game’s pretty dark so make sure your TV screen has a nice brightness level or you’ll really be in a pickle.

There are 42 levels in the game and it should take you around 10 hours to complete them. After that you can go back and find all of the secret chips to unlock extra multiplayer levels. Naturally as this game has such a multiplayer mode the replay value here is basically limitless. I’m sure it’ll be a blast too since the only thing holding the single player mode back was really the insane difficulty and glitches so the title could live up to its name. If you leave your vehicle behind be prepared to restart the level. Same thing happens if you leave an explosive behind. Also watch out for making it to a checkpoint with low health because you may end up dying quite a lot as you try to survive. Sometimes it’s better to just re-start the whole level. I actually had to replay the first 5 levels again because I initially played the game on normal mode before having to go back to Easy. This game simply didn’t play.

Making matters worse is the fact that 1-2 levels can’t be completed if you go in swinging. You had to play the levels with no guns equipped so the robots wouldn’t shoot at you. There’s almost no way to know that in advance so it feels a little cheap. I cheesed a few levels by just making a beeline for the goal. I had quite a few close shaves there. Now, this isn’t to say that difficulty is a bad thing. Games should be hard and you want a good challenge. However, this difficulty just feels cheap as you die to a few hits or the enemies infinitely respawn. If you don’t have the right grenade to mind control the robots then you’ll be stuck there for a while. I think this game just wasn’t nearly as polished as it should have been and will ultimately go down as one of the worst shooters that I’ve played. The gameplay could possibly be overlooked a little more if the story was any good, but it’s not.

The soundtrack is pretty solid at least. When you hear the main menu theme playing near the climax you know that things are finally getting serious. It was a pretty emotional moment and the other sci-fi themes aren’t bad. The graphics I won’t really fault either. It’s hard for me to say one way or the other if the game is too dark because my TV is always pretty iffy there, but it definitely could have been brighter. The destruction effects are pretty solid. Technically the controls are fairly good as well. You won’t miss a shot that you don’t want too.

Overall, Metal Arms is a bit of a missed opportunity. The game could and should have been amazing. The story of a robot rebellion rising up against its oppressors should be a classic. At the same time, it just missed every easy opportunity that it possibly could and by the end of this game it’ll be hard to remember the good times. The developers were slick by having the best levels be the final ones, but it’s simply too little too late. Unless you’re a huge fan of shooters and want to test your skills here, I would recommend avoiding this game. It’s simply not worth the pain and effort of trying to clear it since the story won’t even act as a reward.

Overall 4/10

Swamp Thing Review


It’s time to look at an old school DC film. This movie doesn’t really feel like your average comic book film and could easily be mistaken for just being another horror film. That would probably be the best outcome for all parties involved since I doubt anyone wants to take credit for this movie. It just isn’t good and does so many things wrong that you’ll end up wondering what the film was thinking. The characters aren’t very smart and so it’s hard to root for anyone.

The film starts off with the main character, Alice heading over to the Swamp. She is here to fix some sensors, but the broken sensors were sabotaged by terrorists so she isn’t allowed to go near them. Since she has nothing else to do she hangs around the pair of scientists who are trying to make some breakthroughs and insults them the whole time. The main guy is married, but seems to forget this all the time so all scenes with him are cringe worthy. That’s when the villains come in and murder the two scientists in the hopes of getting their research. Alice managed to snatch one book though so their collection won’t be complete. The villains don’t like that and decide to give chase, but they have one more obstacle to try and get past, The Swamp Thing!

The film doesn’t exactly hide the Swamp Thing’s identity, but I won’t allude to it in case you need that reveal. Needless to say, The Swamp Thing is here to help. “This is My Swamp!” should have been his opening line but he’s a creature of action as opposed to words. As the film goes on he does start to get a little more chatty though so I guess that’s a good thing? Unfortunately, he isn’t quite as intimidating as the average creature. In most of these horror films you see the monsters just destroying everybody until they die in the end. Since the Swamp Thing is a heroic creature, he doesn’t get the same treatment. He gets captured and beaten by the crooks. He doesn’t do a good job of taking the villains out of the equation so they always pop right back up to give him some more grief. He isn’t opposed to murder as we see him do it several times, he is always in just too much of a hurry to get away. He’s just not a very likable character. His abilities also don’t seem all that impressive in this film. He was nerfed all the way into the ground.

Alice isn’t a bad main character although she can also be a little iffy at times. For the positives, she is a fighter. Alice does put up a struggle whenever she appears and even lands in some good hits. On the other hand, she is rather slow on the uptake. Even when seeing the Swamp Thing mowing down her opponents she keeps telling him to back off. She’s certainly safer with him than without. She also has an unfortunate tendency to trip over just about everything. She probably hit the ground at least ten times. Cmon Alice, you can do better than that!

Then I have to quickly rewind to the beginning of the film to explain why the normal joe characters always fall below expectations. So you have a guy running through the swamp when a few guys with guns walk up to him. He quickly lets them disarm him and then runs. What’s the point? They’ll just shoot him down. He’s dead either way so he may as well have held on to his gun and taken one of them down with him. This is preferable for many reasons. One of which is that by firing right away you at least have the slimmest of chances to survive. Second, at least they’ll be forced to gun you down right there which is a far less painful death than the alternative. Third, you get to die with some dignity. Trying to run away in a swamp when you’re outnumbered like that won’t work. Even if it was just one guy he could shoot you once your back was turned. These hostage situations always drive me batty.

This film is a little on the violent side with people getting snapped and crunched. The main villain’s transformation scene was also shown to be as grotesque and violent as possible which is a little on the rare side for transformations. Usually you expect those to at least be a little pleasant right? The violence isn’t extremely over the top but certainly is high enough that it’s noticeable. There isn’t really animal violence if you look at the film casually, but it’s there when you drill into the specifics. The unlikable main characters were running experiments on the animals which is a no go. These animals don’t care about the science so why should they have to be used like this? The animal certainly didn’t look like it was having fun being all wet like that.

Swamp Thing also goes out of its way to make the villains unlikable. A good villain should command respect but also be fun to root for/against. None of that is here with these villains. At the most the main villain isn’t bad. He’s one of those random rich guys who wants to see the world burn. The main villain is really one of his subordinates though who chases Alice around quite a lot. Naturally he is shown to be rather depraved and of course he couldn’t just be a professional trying to earn a paycheck. I get that guys like him will typically end up being the villains since it makes sense, but it doesn’t make any of his scenes work any better.

The best character in the film is definitely the kid who owned the gas station. He was on point and could sniff out danger a mile away. It’s a shame that his gun was defective but there’s no way he could have known that. Even though he was just a kid he did a lot of work and helped get Alice to a safe place. He brought the film a level of charm and wonder that it didn’t have previously. Not enough to save the film or anything like that, but it was still neat.

Overall, Swamp Thing is definitely not a film that I would recommend. The characters aren’t all that smart and Swamp Thing himself looks quite weak. I’m glad he kept in his healing powers, but being able to fight a little more would have been great too. The film drags on a bit and the only good character got a really small amount of screen time. This is definitely one of those movies that you should skip and I’d advise you to check out some of the classic Godzilla films instead if you want to see how a creature should be portrayed. I can guarantee you that at the very least he wouldn’t go down easy like the Swamp Thing.

Overall 3/10