tisdag 26 juli 2011

The Objective (2008)

Let us stop for a moment and think about what the words False advertising means. Wikipedia states:

"False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into commercial transactions that they might otherwise avoid, many governments around the world use regulations to control false, deceptive or misleading advertising."

A perfect example of this is Daniel Myricks The Objective, a movie that the moviecompany didnt quite know what to do with. The dvdcover promises "A paranormal Predator". Not quite.

When the movie starts a narrator tells us that a satellite has transmitted a strange image from the Afghanistan desert, something that could be radioactivity but isnt. The CIA thinks that they have an idea of what it is and sends out an agent who will enter the area with a special ops team. First they have to find a guide who knows the area but when they track him down they find that he has fled into the desert, the very same area they want to go into. A place with a very bad reputation. Following his tracks they soon find themselves in an ambush by rebels but when the battle is over, mortally wounding one of them and clearly hitting several of the enemies, they find no tracks of any assailants whatsoever. A helicopter is dispatched to lift them out but the soldiers never see it, only hear the sound of it very close even though next day the base confirms that they were in the right location. To make matters even weirder, during the night they see weird structures and shapes that only are visible throught nightvision goggles. Something out there wants to inflict harm upon our merry band, something out of old legends.

No, no fucking paranormal predator in sight. The plot I lifted from Imdb works better: "A group of Special Ops Reservists on a mission in the harsh and hostile terrain of Afghanistan find themselves lost in a Middle Eastern "Bermuda Triangle" of ancient evil." Personally I would describe the movie as a paranormal Stalker or perhaps Blair witch project if it had been written by the Strugatskij brothers. The characters are going somewhere in a deserted landscape where the natural laws dont give a fuck about how you want them to work. The Objective does not paint a clear picture of what it out there and do go into it expecting answers. What it on the other hand hints about is very intriguing, taken from Islamic legends which adds some extra tension. Towards the end the movie spaces out a bit and I would be lying if I said that I knew exactly what was going on. I think (hope) that I have a decent theory but I am not really sure.

Dont let this keep you from watching The Objective. Daniel Myrick has borrow a couple of ingredients from his earlier Blair Witch Project and it works really well. You get that certain feeling that the soldiers have ended up somewhere truly and well off the charts and yes, the movie creates more questions than it answers, it still works really well as a moodpiece. The tension is high from beginning to end and thanks to excellent cinematography and good acting there is never a problem getting intrigued by what is going on on the screen. One thing that doesnt really work is the Martin Sheen/Apocalypse nowish narration that tries to push you along the journey, it it sometimes somewhat clumsy and unnecessary, at times even giving explanations that lessens the mood. But besides that and the fact that the story is somewhat "loose", this is an excellent scifi/horrorflick that I recommend to anyone that wants a bit of decent tension and atmosphere and can accept the issue with the questions/answers ratio. Too bad that it is being marketed as something it isnt, a choice that most likely will dissapoint a lot of people.

Actually, the Paranormal predator issue seems to have been dropped now, something I realized when I googled for a coverimage, but I did find another blurb from a blurayrelease. Dark horror meets hard Action. WTF? :)

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