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Monday, May 3, 2010

Dead Space: Downfall... My downfall raises me to infinite heights




Dead Space: Downfall: 6 out of 10: A prequel to the Electronic Arts video game Dead Space? An Animated version of Event Horizon? A film made by and for 13 year old boys? Dead Space: Downfall is all three of these.

Dead Space: Downfall is a prequel for the video game event of 2008 Dead Space. Well Dead Space would have been the video game event of 2008 had Saints Row 2, Fable 2,Grand Theft Auto 4, Fallout 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Little Big Planet not been released.

Dead Space did get good reviews and sold fairly well, still it is unusual for a middle of the pack game to get a full blown animated feature. Not to mention a comic book tie-in that is a prequel to Dead Space Downfall which, of course, is the prequel to the video game Dead Space. Confused yet? Good. All together now, Dead Space: Downfall is the middle leg of a full blown multimedia trilogy based on a first person shooter that got lost among superior titles during the 2008 Christmas season.

Now it is a bit unfair to claim Dead Space is simply an animated version of Event Horizon. It steals heavily from Alien as well. The story starts with the discovery of a large alien artifact on a distant planet. The artifact causes the people of the planet to start killing each other and mutating. So the captain of a mining vessel orbiting said planet decides to take the artifact aboard and bring it to Earth. No points on guessing what happens next. There is some side plot of the artifact being religious in nature and the Captain is a religious fanatic (I believe he is Unitarian), but in general you have mutated crew vs. non-mutated crew trapped on spaceship that has a surprising number of chainsaws for a mining vessel.

Dead Space: Downfall is also a movie made for and by thirteen year old boys. There is plenty of the old ultra violence yet none of that icky in and out to be found. And the dialogue yikes… I haven't heard this much swearing since the HBO series Deadwood. Every other world is an expletive. The rest of the dialogue will not win any awards either. Here are the three memorable quotes from IMDB.


Dobbs: There's a lot of blood in this room, but no bodies.
Shen: Sounds like one of your parties
Dobbs: Or your sex life!

Hansen: This sh*t's gettin' weirder by the second!
Dobbs: Sounds like a date with Shen.
Shen: F* ck you, rookie!

Alissa Vincent: This is no time to be a hero, Irons!
Samuel Irons: I'm not a hero, just a man.


I did not realize thirteen year olds could join the screenwriter's guild. And keep in mind these groan worthy quotes are the best the film has to offer.

All is not awful of course. Downfall is all in all a decent time waster. The animation isn't great but it works with the story. The action is kinetic and the violence is often delightfully over the top. The cliched story is told in an easy to understand manner and the voice acting… well did I mention the violence is good.

If you played the Dead Space game or passed the box art at Gamestop you know how this movie concludes and the story otherwise contains no real surprises. While his isn't the next Heavy Metal it is a decent rental for a rainy Saturday afternoon.


Dead Space Downfall Famous Monsters of Filmland
Dead Space Downfall movie poster.


Dead Space Downfall ITGA10
Apparently downfall takes place on a British ship.


Dead Space Downfall Kingdom of Heaven
Nice use of color does help the animation along.


Dead Space Downfall Navarrevisca
Apparently the zombiefication causes not just you guts to be exposed and daggers to emerge from the palms of your hands but it also cause your genitalia to fall off. Ah the Anime Anatomy trope a perfect sign 13 year old boys are the target audience.


Dead Space Downfall Opolis
I still prefer the Pulp Fiction version of this scene.





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