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Red vs. Blue

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 03/15/04 06:10:43

"Mystery Science Theater for video game freaks"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

A group of red soldiers stand talking in a canyon, spying on a group of blue soldiers over yonder. They pass the time talking amongst themselves, wondering if their tank could be used to pick up chicks, and playing practical jokes on the rookie of the group, while the blue soldiers go through a similar thing on the other side. There’s no real story, and no plot to concern yourself with, but that’s kind of the point. People who have spent countless hours playing the video game Halo will smack themselves in the forehead that they didn’t think of this first, because the filmmakers behind Red Vs Blue have used actual Halo video game footage and voiceover dialogue to create a piece of experimental animation that looks like a million bucks. And it’ll have you howling.

Team killing, pink armor, girl soldiers, death, games of battlefield “I Spy” and arguments over who gets the sniper rifle riddle this clever piece of filmmaking, which varies in quality between side splittingly funny and mildly repetitive. The people behind the film have clearly honed their video gaming skills, because they not only manage to put the characters where they’re supposed to be to make their satire work, but they also manipulate the arms and heads of the characters to give them actual personalities, not to mention impeccable comedy timing.

There are no celebrity voices here, and the footage is manufactured entirely within the realms of the computer game, so it tends to be largely the same kind of shots over and over, but the writing and the ‘acting’ of the characters more than makes up for the limitations of the film’s look. In fact, if you’d built this from scratch, the film would have cost an absolute fortune and taken months or years to put together, but by utilizing the game itself as a production tool, the Red Vs Blue crew have made lemonade out of lemons in a big way.

The question is always in your head while watching Red Vs Blue; “Can this possibly stay funny throughout the running time?” And to the credit of all involved, it does. It may get hard to follow as players die, get resurrected as ghosts, take over each other’s bodies and change their uniform colors, but this is good farce, which means it really doesn’t matter if you keep up or not. Just go with it and enjoy yourself.

To see Red Vs Blue for yourself, take a look at http://www.redvsblue.com

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