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Overall Rating
1.13

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 12.5%
Total Crap87.5%

1 review, 2 user ratings


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Retrograde
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by Charles Tatum

"Mr. Lundgren, wake up, it's time for your scene"
1 stars

I'm not sure a leading actor has ever appeared so bored onscreen before.

The year is 2204, and a plague has wiped out most of the planet's population. Foster (Dolph Lundgren) and his motley spaceship mates must go back in time two hundred years, and stop the plague from starting. The disease came to Earth in a meteor shower that crashed in Antarctica, and it was being investigated by an ice cutter's crew, who brought it back to civilization (I think). Foster and the gang arrive in 2004 (the year this film was shot, and then was shelved for almost half a decade), when Dalton (Joe Montana...no, sorry, not the quarterback) decides to violently take over the spaceship for very vague reasons. The spaceship crash lands on the snowy tundra, and the ice cutter heads in the direction of the explosion.

The ice cutter Nathaniel Parker has all sorts of expendable characters on it, including the captain (Ken Samuels), serious girl astrobiologist Renee (Silvia De Santis), pothead and lame comedy relief Mack (Jamie Treacher), and jerk Schrader (Joe Sagal), who reminds everyone he has hired the ship to prove that humanity originated in outer space- but we never find out how a trip to Antarctica was going to prove his theory.

The plague, which resembles grape jelly and can be passed merely by touch, begins infecting both the time travelers and the ice cutter's crew. It seems to have differing gestation times depending on how important the character is to the plot, and eventually Foster and Dalton shoot it out on some cheap sets.

Thinking of Lundgren, with his Denis Leary haircut and Jurgen Prochnow cheeks, I am suddenly drowsy. My heavy lids and yawning are mirroring what I just got done viewing. Lundgren is clearly bored here. There can be no other explanation for his half-hearted acting, fighting, and general screen presence. Normally, and in better films, he has some gravitas, but here he goes through the motions just enough not to get fired from the picture. It's a shame, since apparently he has built up a questionable fan base through his direct-to-video efforts (much like Steven Seagal).

The film was shot in Luxembourg and Italy, both of which make lousy substitutions for the South Pole. The computer generated effects are cheesy, and would be better suited for a viral video, not a full-on film production. The cast flounders under the terrible script. There is too much footage of people leaving the ice cutter to visit the spaceship crash site, and then walking back to either alert others, or send more people out to visit the spaceship crash site. Specifics are not found and plot points are not followed as we wonder about Renee and Foster's connection, Dalton's post-mutiny plans, and the fact that everyone who shoots at Lundgren is a lousy shot. Apparently in 2204, motorcycle racing attire is all the fashion rage, and I was curious as to where Foster got his blonde highlights in the futuristic wasteland.

Director Kulikowski tries, but the film starts too abruptly, and then pulls the viewer along from one badly choreographed fight scene to another. Lundgren sleeps on his feet, the supporting cast looks completely lost (yelling their lines as if that might help the pacing), and as characters begin dying of the plague or stabbings and shootings, the film and Foster don't seem to care.

Eventually, I, too, didn't care about the proceedings here. "Retrograde" isn't even bad-movie fun, but it is a learning opportunity. It shows the lengths one actor will go to in order to cash a paycheck. Thanks for the lesson, Dolph, you can go back to sleep now.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=21131&reviewer=325
originally posted: 07/06/10 08:54:26
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User Comments

8/21/10 Sugarfoot See Bridge Of Dragons, Punisher or Universal Soldier instead cause this movie is terrible. 1 stars
7/06/10 Mack As a Lundgren fan... this sucked. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
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  DVD: 24-Feb-2009

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