Movie Review: The Colony is a frozen mess
Director: Jeff Renfroe
Writers: Jeff Renfroe (screenplay), Svet Rouskov (additional writer)
Stars: Kevin Zegers, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton
Synopsis: Forced underground by the next ice age, a struggling outpost of survivors must fight to preserve humanity against a threat even more savage than nature.
Jeff Renfroe’s The Colony is something like The Day After Tomorrow meets The Road but with bad visuals and some bad acting outside Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton. What’s disappointing about The Colony is that is started off really well but Renfroe lost something early on and then he drops it off an icy cliff. Like I said, the visuals are pretty bad for the most part and it feels literally like he merged two movies together. Renfroe does have some nice touches and has something to say about human endurance that is endearing.
As I mentioned this story is like a crossover of The Day After Tomorrow and The Road. Imagine a group of people needing to survive right after the events of The Day After Tomorrow. People in a frozen apocalyptic earth are forced to live in groups called “colony’s”. Well this story follows Colony 7 where they do everything they can to survive including giving sick people the option to be shot and killed on the spot or to run out into the frozen wilderness to die. What a fun decision, right? Well once Colony 5 sends stress signals, a group decides to go and investigate to see if they need help. But what they discover is something awful and a premise I shouldn’t say since it may spoil it. It’s at that point, the story falls into a stereotypical, been-done-before apocalyptic movie. I’m okay with elements that have been done before but make it fun and appealing. The Colony isn’t that. A few characters are interesting but you don’t care for much of them, thus making the ending irrelevant. However, the story does say something about fighting till the end and keeping hope, which many of these type movies tend to do. But I think The Colony does do that part well.
Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton are strong here. Fishburne is the leader you want with the voice that gives you hope of survival in an awful situation. He’s really good and gives the film a great lift. However his character takes a turn that isn’t surprising but lowers the movie a bit when it happens. Paxton is the bad guy you hate and you want to punch him in the face throughout the whole thing, thus meaning his performance is solid. The rest of the cast is dry and uninteresting. Kevin Zegers is okay but isn’t enough to carry the movie.
Jeff Danna gets the nod to score here and it’s not bad. For a low budget B-movie, this is a score that’s fitting and has a nice element to it. It’s the dramatic, end-of-the-world score that we’d expect here but it’s not over-the-top or adding any melodrama. Danna knows the type of film he’s dealing with and does what he needs to.
The Colony starts off strong but ultimately falls flat due to bad visuals, lower-than-average acting outside Fishburne and Paxton and the story isn’t new and doesn’t add excitement for me to care. This is one you can skip or wait for it to come on TNT when it comes to TV.