Far Cry (2008)

From the director of House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark 1 & 2, BloodRayne 1 & 2 and Postal comes a half-decent film… somehow. Far Cry is stupid, clichéd and utterly predictable, but it is also funny, enjoyably violent and enjoyably silly. Do not bring your brain anywhere near this film otherwise it might never speak to you again, but sit back, empty your skull and enjoy the ride, because it’s surprisingly good.

Dr. Lucas Krieger is creating a super-soldier for the U.S. army, and it’s almost a success. Unbeknownst to Dr Krieger, a spy has been sending information to his niece Valerie, a newspaper journalist, who intends to expose Krieger’s experiments to the world. Her investigation leads her to Krieger’s island, just in time for everything to go horribly wrong.

Far Cry is loosely based on the popular computer game of the same name, and just like Uwe Boll‘s trashing of Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead, this film has little resemblance to the computer game after the initial twenty minutes of set-up. In fact, the script for the first hour of Far Cry is particularly embarrassing in places, with little effort put into making it anything other than functional, but once all the pieces are in place and the carnage begins, the script comes alive and in places is genuinely funny. It’s a silly, predictable farce, but surprisingly well directed for something so clearly ridiculous. If you loved the computer game dearly, you will undoubtedly dislike what Boll and friends have done to Far Cry.

The hero of the piece is Jack Carver (Til Schweiger, of Inglourious Basterds fame), an ex special forces veteran who has retired to do whale tours on a lake that happens to border the island of genetically modified soldiers. Valerie Cardinal (Emmanuelle Vaugier), the nosy journalist, hires Jack to drive her to and from the island in search of her uncle Max (Boll regular Ralf Moeller), who also happens to be an army buddy of Jack’s. Strangely, infiltrating a heavily-defended research facility with only a pen and a notepad proves not to be a smart idea, and lots and lots of violence ensues.

The mutant element of Far Cry is barely touched upon, as the majority of the film focuses entirely on James Bond style chase sequences that normally end in a giant, flaming fireball. The action is hilariously fun, from car chases and helicopter crashes to free-running, face-battering super soldiers taking on an army of mercenaries. When the genetically modified soldiers do eventually get involved it’s even more insane, and the violence explodes into a murderous rampage of cannon-fodder soldiers being butchered by bald, grey-skinned, black-eyed mutant psychos with bullet-impervious skin. Perhaps it might be a little ridiculous to suggest this could even remotely be classed as a horror film, but the first five minutes have elements of invisible monster assault, and one great “man’s head shoved half-way through a chain-link fence” moment.

Udo Kier doesn’t even begin to stretch himself as the lead scientist Krieger, as his entire career seems fashioned on being either an immoral doctor or a dodgy clergyman. In fact, no one stretches themselves beyond their usual clichéd roles, yet this isn’t horribly detrimental to the film, as it’s a story we’ve also seen a thousand times before. It’s a comfortable, overused formula that, if expected, is great fun and totally brainless. The only, singular piece of intrigue in the entire film is wondering what Udo Kier is painting in his office.

For those who thoroughly detest Uwe Boll and want to stay in that frame of mind, avoid Far Cry, because it might change your mind. Whether he’s loved or hated, Uwe Boll has created a likeable, half-decent movie, and with four Uwe Boll directed films exploding onto our cinemas / DVD players later this year (including something called Zombie Massacre), it’s likely you might eventually like one, even accidentally.

Good humoured, stupidly violent, almost hilariously clichéd but with absolutely no pretensions, Far Cry is good fun, but a forgettable fare that says and does nothing new with the tired sub-genre of “scientific experiment on an island goes horribly wrong”. Enjoyably stupid stuff.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

One Comment on “Far Cry”

  1. Sarah Law says:

    Udo Kier also gets cast as a vampire quite a lot. Although bizarrely, I always remember him best as the pervy gay German from My Own Private Idaho…..

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