'The Colony' DVD Review: Formula Freezes Post-Apocalyptic Genre Attempt
The Colony is a post-apocalypse film fused with a zombie movie. It's also one of the most formulaic flicks I've seen all year.
The film, available now on DVD, imagines a frozen Earth where survivors live in colonies in order to survive the harsh weather.
Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) is the leader of the titular colony. He's doing a generic version of Morpheus from The Matrix in his limited role. Sam (Kevin Zegers) is supposed to be the moral center of the movie, but the character isn't nearly three dimensional enough to be our window into this world.
Bill Paxton also plays a villainous colonist that wants to be more tyrannical than Briggs. If any of that sounds interesting, trust me when I say it's not. The Colony isn't really about post-apocalyptic politics and survival. That's where the far too long first act chooses to dwell, but there's an abrupt shift in the second act towards a quasi-zombie movie when Briggs and Sam check in on another colony.
The shift doesn't feel right, and mixing the post apocalypse plot threads with the zombie threads doesn't help the movie at all. It just means instead of being a generic survival flick, it's now a generic zombie flick.
Almost every character in the movie is underwritten, but the worst roles go to Paxton and Fishburne. They play cardboard cutouts from other movies, and both actors are ridiculously wasted.
The only real compliment to pay The Colony is to say that the film looks surprisingly good for a low-budget production, and director Jeff Renfroe gives the flick some interesting flare every now and again. Mainly though, it's just a flat picture with nothing new to add to any genre.
Special features on the DVD include a making of feature and interviews with the cast and crew.
The Colony inhabits that terrible land of completely mediocre movies. I wish there was more to say. If it had been great, I'd have more praise. If it had been worse, I'd have more complaints. It's neither. It's an average genre movie with nothing new to say and nothing particularly interesting to present.