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RATED Not Rated
STUDIO Sonar Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 200 Minutes
• Sneak Peek – Cat. 8
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel bored and indifferent.
Steven Weber, Treat Williams, Christian Cox, Alecks Paunovic
Scientists drill a hole in the universe to harvest a limitless pool of “dark energy,” but the experiment goes horribly wrong and becomes the ultimate threat that could destroy it.
Full disclosure here everybody: when I saw Eve of Destruction in the blu-ray claims list I thought I was snagging a copy of the 1991 Terminator rip-off starring Gregory Hines. This has happened to me before, I asked for The Dead assuming it was the mediocre 2010 zombie movie and instead got the last (and best) movie of John Huston’s career. I really wish I’d gotten 1991‘s Eve of Destruction instead and for those of you who have seen it can just skip the rest of this because that functions as the entire review for you right there.
Eve of Destruction (2013) is a disaster movie, and it’s the worst kind of disaster movie: a shot-for cheap, Canadian, made-for-TV, two-part mini-series, starring people who were moderately famous more than ten years ago, disaster movie. I have never encountered one of these movies that was good and as a kid who grew up on a farm in the mid-west during the late 90s with satellite TV and no friends living nearby, I can say that I have seen a lot. They’re made for next to nothing, they star has-beens who deserve better, they rely on the thinnest scummiest layer of bullshit psuedo-science to exist, and they’re just awful. For those of you who have never seen one of these monstrosities, just watch 2012 but imagine that John Cusack’s character is being played by Casper Van Dien and all the special effects look like cut-scenes from Myst.
So the story starts in 2003 where we meet Ruslan (Alecks Paunovic) a line-man in a small town in Russia with a beautiful wife and two disturbing adorable children that he loves very much these people might as well be old African American cops one week away from retirement because nobody is that happy in one of these movies unless they’re about to be destroyed. Sure enough Ruslan gets called to work and while he’s fixing a power line a big purple special effect hovers over his town and destroys it with lightning.
Now fast forward to 2013 where we meet doctors Karl Dameron (Steven Weber) and Rachel Reed (Christina Cox) two scientists working on a machine that “drills” into space for dark matter that can be used to give unlimited free power to everyone! Except it won’t and their backer, Max Salinger (Treat Williams) is planning to profit off of it greatly. After an initial test causes some consequences unforeseen by everyone but Ruslan who apparently has worse luck than John McClane and is now living in Denver, Colorado after moving when his small Russian town was wiped off the face of the earth by a machine just like the one Dameron and Reed are building. He tries to warn them and Dameron and Reed try to shut it down but thanks to some shady dealings by Salinger and his sex-puppet/scientist inside-woman Chloe (Leah Banks) they’re cut off at every turn. Complicating matters is a group of eco-terrorists who lure in Dameron’s daughter Ruby (Jessica McLeod) and further throw a monkey wrench in things. Things go bad, buildings burn, famous landmarks are vaporized, someone says “you can’t go in there, the radiation levels are too high!”, a heroic male character sacrifices himself for seemingly no reason, and Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” plays; at least in my head.
There’s a lot of good actors in this. Steven Weber, Christina Cox, Treat Williams, even American Mary and Ginger Snaps’ Katherine Isabelle turns up in decent sized role as one of the eco terrorists. And you can see in their dead eyed stares and that “what the fuck is this bullshit I am currently spouting” tone to their voice that they’re mentally counting their paycheck and wondering when they can go home. Treat Williams and Alecks Paunovic are the only actors in this whole movie who don’t seem angry to be here.
The plot alternates between nonsensical psuedo-science and soap opera bullshit and neither one does much to captivate attention. Ruslan’s story is probably the most interesting plot thread in this and it basically just consists of how he lost his family and he’s super bummed about it, so he takes it out on his new wife who he hasn’t told about his original family for some reason. Everything is so much of a cookie-cutter stock disaster movie fodder that it’s like a game of movie-trope bingo.
There is no good reason that this is as long as it is; this could be an hour and a half movie and I could have spend half my morning doing something more productive like huffing glue. There’s no sense of urgency at all; a giant radioactive storm appears above Denver, setting fires and sucking up buildings into a swirling vortex and nobody much seems to care. The big climax of the movie involves Weber and Cox staring at a swirling ball of space junk while it cuts to line-men fixing power lines to super dramatic music.
Eve of Destruction is a classic example of one of the worst sub-genres of junk-food TV that people only watch when there aren’t Ice Road Truckers reruns on for some reason. The implication that somebody would want to own these for the pleasure of viewing at their discretion, on Blu-Ray, for an MSRP of $30 is appalling and a solid attempt at eroding my faith in humanity. I would not watch it on a plane, I would not watch it on a train. You do not want this Blu-Ray disc, you do not want it, I insist.
If Eve of Destruction hasn’t left you with a craving for the taste of gunmetal there’s a special sneak preview of Cat. 8 starring Matthew Modine.
Even though both parts of this miniseries are on one disc they are still separated for arbitrary reasons. There are English subtitles.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Yes, that’s a zero.