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DVD Review: Far Cry (2008)

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Germany’s B-movie auteur Uwe Boll is at it once again with yet another video game adaptation. But this time around, Herr Boll has outdone himself. Sure, my very utterance that the longtime Razzie Award contender has “outdone himself” will probably be cause enough for many to question my sanity overall. After all, I’m perfectly content with watching a cheesy retro European-made action flick over a modern big-budgeted American film any day — there’s a certain naïve charming about them.

Strangely enough, Uwe Boll’s Far Cry has that same charm.

Based on the popular series of the same name, Far Cry tells a very basic and somewhat one-dimensional story about the mad Dr. Krieger (played to perfection by Udo Kier) who has been developing a squad of “super soldiers” (none of whom are named Knowle Rohrer, just in case you’re wondering) on a remote island somewhere on the ambiguously Canadian coast of the United States of America. One of the island’s private military security dudes (Ralf Moeller) alerts his journalist niece to the less-than-humane experiments being conducted on the island. And so, our journalist heroine Valerie (Emmanuelle Vaugier) takes a clandestine trip out the island, courtesy of a boat helmed by Jack Carver (Til Schweiger).

It doesn’t take long for our Jack and Valerie to come face-to-face with Krieger’s goons, and both bullets and bodies fly when they do. Much like the source material, Boll keeps the action in Far Cry-a-comin’ at a moderate pace, splicing in a number of ridiculous scenarios and one-liners the whole way through — which made it good, in my opinion. I’m sure my fellow, more uptight Yankees will most assuredly take great offense to the way Boll and his screenwriters portray Americans as outrageously obnoxious morons in the movie (I, personally, was not affronted by it). Speaking of Americans, the late Don S. Davis appears briefly as a general (the movie started filming in 2007); character actor Chris Coppola plays the unwitting sidekick guy; and the great Michael Paré has a small part in the beginning of the film as Vaugier’s editor.

Considering that the name Uwe Boll has become synonymous with “crap” here in the U.S., it’s no surprise that Far Cry isn’t making a grandiose debut on DVD and Blu-ray. Instead, Vivendi Entertainment has casually placed this one of the shelves (while no one was looking, of course) and only opted to release it on the Standard Definition format. The movie’s decent 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer comes with 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks — I opted for the former mix, and found it to be adequate.

A handful of special features are included on this disc. First off, director Boll himself is on hand for an audio commentary. Two behind-the-scenes featurettes take a look into the low-budget CGI FX used in the film (which are used sparingly, fortunately, making it all the more enjoyable: gimme make-up and models any day as well) and the making of the film itself. A couple of deleted scenes and outtakes bring up the rear (giving Udo another chance to be silly), as do a number of previews, including a look at Boll’s upcoming Alone In The Dark 2.

No matter how you slice this turkey, Far Cry is definitely just that: a turkey. But, I found it to be a highly enjoyable (even while sober!) turkey that was very reminiscent of those wonderful B-Action Movies of yesteryear. It’s 95 minutes of good, no-brainer fun that somehow seems to know it’s going to insult your intelligence no matter how it presents itself… and subsequently chooses to simply have fun instead.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.