The Phoenix Rises-Not even close
I was told about this movie at work by a fan who’s pretty much become one of my distributors. Apparently he wasn’t able to finish it, being turned off of the film within the first fifteen minutes.
A movie someone can’t finish? I readily accepted the challenge! Granted, I’ve watched movies I haven’t been able to finish, but they were either that awful or had blatant violence against children. Even I have my limits.
I should’ve told him to use it as an interstate Frisbee.
Oh, well. Let’s hit play on yet another dog turd of a movie.
This s**t stain starts with a group of scientists gathered in a command center, presumably, at the Pentagon. They are firing a laser beam into the sky when another laser beam comes back and hits the building. The screen begins to distort, as does the sound, and the team hits the floor screaming and covering their ears.
Okay, I’ll bite. Another one where things are happening right awa-
It’s one of THOSE movies. You know the ones, right? The movies that start at the end, then take you back and bring up to that point in time? Yeah, there’s a right and wrong way to do that. This movie did it wrong by transitioning EVERY F**KING SCENE with clips and bites of the opening sequence.
Okay, breathe man. Just breathe.
Jack, one of the members of the elite scientific research group known as “Phoenix,” is tasked with picking up Tom, a government official, from the airport. After a gun fight with a chick that looks like Richard O’Brian with boobs, the two manage to make it safely back to Phoenix headquarters.
Jan, Jack’s girlfriend, is not at all happy about the gunfight. However, her concerns, and the gunfire, are soon forgotten by the entire group as Tom reveals the nature of his visit. Turns out he’s part of a team that has helped create “Project Phoenix,” a system that controls the ionosphere and can create weather conditions.
Unfortunately, terrorists have gotten a hold of the coding and built their own Project Phoenix. Phoenix…OKAY. Even I’M getting confused. Team Phoenix is now officially known as Team Yawn. Why Yawn? Because the writing is atrocious, and the acting isn’t much better! I am SO BORED. WHY ISN’T ANYTHING HAPPENING?
Damn you, bait and hook. Damn you.
The next several scenes are nothing but relationship exposition hell as we watch the group research different ideas on how to combat the terrorist attack on the weather. Strange, how they all know EXACTLY when the strike is going to be.
Tom reassures the team with possibly the most epic line in the entire movie. It’s the line that keeps me going and makes the group believe in themselves.
“Your country needs you to do this!”
Sorry, I got delirious there. Nothing a few good whacks on the desk with my head didn’t fix.
About three-fourths of the way into the movie, Jan and Maryanne, the other girl in the Team Yawn group, are kidnapped by Maxine (Richard O’Brian chick) and Jamal. Maxine speaks only Russian, but Jamal speaks English with a Jamaican accent.
SO WHY DOES HE HAVE SUBTITLES!?
Ugh, this movie is killing me! I can’t friggin’ do this!
Anyway, Tom assembles a team and goes after Jan and Maryanne. He caps one in Jamal’s face, and Maxine escapes. Jack is glad that Jan is back; he and Jan have been having problems because Jan feels like Jack cares more about work than her. Jan and Tom share a kiss, and then Tom leaves.
WHO CARES? I want to see some weather disaster, dammit.
More exposition, more whining about interpersonal relationships that just need to end either in bad sex or gunfire, and we get to D-Day. Yup, back at the beginning of the movie. Only now we see that the team survives and has a plan of attack. They fight off the terrorist beam with minimal effort.
That’s it. They fight off the beam. Poof. Done.
Jack and Keith show up with rings the next day and propose to Jan and Maryanne. Maryanne is thrilled, Jan not so much. Credits.
No joke. Credits.
VERDICT: SEND IT BACK TO THE ASHES!
What makes a bad movie good, you ask? Charm. Take a dog, for example. You may see a dog that looks like he’s been beaten with the ugly stick up one side of his face and down the other, but he’s endearing because he’s sweet and chill.
Bad movies can be the same way. They’re cheesy and campy, but they’re endearing because they’re just fun to watch.
This is supposed to be a movie about a team fighting terrorists that can control dangerous weather systems. Why, in the name of Alfred Hitchcock’s baggy chin, do I give a crap about watching a group of number crunchers come up with an idea to counter the enemy laser with a laser of their own?
The exposition in the movie isn’t even the main problem. First, the writing is awful. Obviously the writer has his DVR set to record anything and everything on SyFy. The plot in this movie has been beaten to death. Instead of a special effects extravaganza, we get eighty minutes of dialogue and about five minutes of actual event. The pink laser column coming out of the top of the building is the heaviest the effects get. The rest is literally all talk.
Speaking of talk, bad acting is next on my attack list. I haven’t seen acting this wooden since the Presidential debate, you pick what year. News Anchors have more personality than these people! Their facial expressions look less like they’re conveying emotions and more like the entire cast is battling an epidemic of constipation on the set.
The sets, oh God, the sets. The “command center” set has been used in so many different campy SyFy originals that I actually knew where each station was before the characters did. It’s the same idea as the one standard house set they use for most sitcoms. Ever notice that? The staircase is in the same spot, relatively. The kitchen is separated from the living room by a swinging door and (at times) a window. The front door has steps leading up to a foyer of some kind.
I could go on and on, but I’m just glad I made it through. I haven’t had this hard of a time watching a bad movie since 1313 Cougar Cult.