08 October 2009

6WH: October 8th

Tooth & Nail (2007) directed by Mark Young
I really wanted to like this one. Post-apocalyptic stories are among my favorite. Sadly, the movie kept failing at everything it tried. The cause of the post-apocalypse was unique -- as far as I know -- for these types of movies: our oil ran out. However, this has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the film. The cause could've been a virus, a nuclear war, a meteor or global warming and nothing would've been different. I suspect the director/writer just wanted to be the first to make a film with this particular apocalyptic idea as the back drop.

The movie's really about a gang of cannibals who snatch people one by one from the hospital they're holed up in. That's all fine. Unfortunately, we never get to really know most of the characters who are killed, making their deaths lack any impact at all. Similarly, two of the cannibals are played by the awesome Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, but they're used far too little. Madsen is killed very early on. Jones runs around the halls chasing a little girl until she locks him in a closet. It's disappointing. The rest of the cannibals are just generic big-guy scary-dudes.

Worst, the movie is really just a re-skinned Aliens. The cannibals are the xenomorphs, chasing people through dark hallways in a hospital that replaces the colony on LV-426. Lead, female cannibal Neon is the queen xenomorph. Mute, teenaged Nova is clearly Newt's clone. Rescuing Nova/Newt from the cannibals/aliens is Dakota, standing in for Ripley. Dakota starts off weak but eventually toughens up to battle the monsters at the end, including spouting a pithy line at Neon/the queen that has the word "bitch" in it. One minor difference here is that Viper/Hicks dies, but the character performs the same function at the end of the film. If you're gonna rip off one of the best sci-fi flicks of all time, you're gonna have to do better than this. (5/10)