Friday, May 18, 2012

Project Terrible: The Void

Slightly-less dull than The Black Hole.  Today's Project Terrible film is the second one from my friend over at Gaming Creatively.  I'm pretty sure that he only wants me to see it because Adrian Paul is in it.  The guy is not a bad actor, but his films are..not always great.  To be fair, he was probably contractually-obligated to do the last two Highlander films, as I can't imagine someone reading the script for The Source & going 'I'm totally in!'  This film is clearly a Made-for-TV movie from 2001- just check out the credits if you doubt me.  The plot involves a scientist trying to mine black holes as replacement energy sources.  No, really.  While there is some science to that I'm sure, does that sound like a safe idea?  This is the kind of logic that got us the giant-brained sharks from Deep Blue Sea!  The film is notable for Sci-Fi TV junkies as it features Stargate SG-1 and Sanctuary star Amanda Tapping, as a love interest for the guy from Highlander even!  As a bonus, it features perennial bad/silly-movie actor Malcolm McDowell.  Whether it's playing the villain in Tank Girl, playing a gangster in Milk Money or appearing in a pointless cameo in Cyborg 3, the guy got around.  Does the film use this intriguing cast to its potential or just fall flat?  To find out, read on...
Appearing 'Live Via Satellite,' McDowell conducts an experiment to 'mine' a Black Hole as an energy source.  It goes badly...but you see almost none of that.
In the Present, Tapping is a Scientist using her boyfriend- Paul- to get access to McDowell's company and research.  Why?  Because he killed her running the experiment.  That's sort of murder, I guess.
Much to my surprise, McDowell is actually in a bunch of scenes- with other actors no less.

All kidding aside, he has another test planned...since he has Cancer.  That excuses you if you accidentally blow up the world, right?
Things get pretty cliche here as McDowell's company tries to take out all sources of trouble.  This includes a Scientist helping Tapping and...
...her blind friend, who just happens to be at the Apartment.  When you first see this character, you know that she's going to die.

Now, had she been evil, that might have been something surprising.
United by love and a desire to live tomorrow, Paul and Tapping commit industrial sabotage to stop the experiment.  Unfortunately, it proves to be useless, turning the last ten minutes into, well, filler.

The saddest part: Paul takes out two guards- despite not being an 'action star' here- and immediately breaks his ankle while taking a step.  No, really.
The experiment takes place and, shockingly, goes badly.  McDowell and his Head of Security- who killed the blind lady just 12 hours earlier- 'turn face' and try to help save the day.

McDowell 'valiantly' sacrifices himself to stay behind and stop the Black Hole.  Yeah, you're dying and it was already your fault.  Nice try.  The End.
It doesn't quite suck or blow.  To be honest, this film is really not all that notable.  It doesn't have any really goofy moments, nor does it have any really great ones.  It's practically a place-holder film for something more interesting.  I don't know what else I can really say.  It's weird to see Paul randomly 'break his ankle' in that one scene.  It's silly that he is being pushed dramatically in a wheelchair during an attempt to stop the Black Hole.  It's stupid how they just gloss over the fact that the Head of Security killed the blind lady (and tried to kill our heroes) just a few scenes from when it happened.  It's annoying that the movie talks all about the really, really interesting things that the Black Hole could do to the Earth, but never shows it.  I get the 'we can't blow up the world' aspect, but they could have slapped in a dream sequence to make things interesting.  Yes, I'm ASKING for a dream sequence to be added into a movie, especially if it has no point.  Other than that, the movie is just so generic.  It's The Net, but with someone trying to make a black hole.  It's War Games, but with someone trying to make a Black Hole.  There's not much going on here that you haven't seen before.  Not quite Terrible, but only because it doesn't try hard enough to either succeed or fail all that much.  Take us away, totally-real photograph...
Next up, a film called The Clone Master.  I don't think that I even need to say anything.  Stay tuned...


  1. Sounds pretty generic - which can be a terrible all its own. I do like McDowell though - that guy has said yes so many times he's made it an art form unto itself!

    Oooo, can't wait for The Clone Master!

  2. Poor Adrian Paul. Like his fellow MacLeod, Christopher Lambert, he often ends up being a good actor stuck in cruddy films. Fortunately, also like Lambert, he's usually still entertaining. :-P

    I can't believe they had him break his ankle. O_O Weird place to insert...realism, I guess?

    But yeah...there's plenty of ways they could have inserted some freaky events into something like this. Have them actually temporarily create a black hole or something equally probably scientifically-unsound but interesting, and have that cause a little chaos for the brief time it exists. Or, like you said, dream sequence. Or, heck, draw on the concept of using black holes in time travel (I swear I've seen that written up somewhere) and have the destruction happen, but someone gets sucked through and manages to stop it. It might not be realistic but it sounds like it'd be a heck of a lot more interesting.

  3. The Asylum should do a remake of The Void, but with nazis, a giant shark and a Lorenzo Lamas cameo ;-)