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Movie Review

Mutant Chronicles a.k.a. “The Mutant Chronicles,” “A Era da Escuridão—Mutant Chronicles,” “Oi Arhontes tou skotous”

MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence and language throughout.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Genre:
Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Adaptation, Drama
Length:
1 hr. 51 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
UK: October 10, 2008
USA: April 24, 2009
DVD: August 4, 2009
Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures Copyright, Magnolia Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Voltage Pictures, Magnolia Pictures

MUTATIONS—Can genetic mutations produce positive changes in living creatures? Answer

CANCER—Where did cancer come from? Answer

Armies in the Bible

Suicide, what does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Faith

Death

Final judgment

VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Drunkenness

Prophecy and the Bible

FALSE PROPHETS—Nostradamus, did he predict the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York? Answer

Is there valid prophetic evidence that the Bible is God’s Word? Answer

Religion

Swords in the Bible

Violence in this movie includes

head blown off / exploding body / suicide / decapitation / stabbed in the face / stabbed in the back / mercy killing / kicked in the face / fall from height / stabbed in the chest / fall down shaft / stabbed in the arm / shot in the head / torso cut in half / stabbed in the head / shot in the chest / blood vomiting / crushed to death / blood splatter / severed head / burnt face / gash in the face / vomit scene / stabbed in the leg / punched in the face / sliced in two / shot to death / exploding ship / scarred face / impalement / stabbed in the throat / battle scene / arm cut off / stabbed in the forehead / head cut off / hand cut off / death of child

Featuring: Thomas Jane
The Mist,” “The Punisher,” “Deep Blue Sea

Ron Perlman
Hellboy,” “Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Devon Aoki
Sin City,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “War,” “D.E.B.S.

Sean Pertwee
Equilibrium,” “Event Horizon

Benno Fürmann
Speed Racer,” “Merry Christmas

John Malkovich, Anna Walton, Tom Wu, Steve Toussaint, Luis Echegaray, Pras Michel, Shauna Macdonald, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Christopher Adamson, Nicholas Ball, Georgina Berriman, Georgina Bryce, Richard Buddle, Jacqui Chan, Tim Daniel Clark, Vyelle Croom, Dez Drummond, Christopher Dunne, Jack Finney, Nicholas Gecks, David Hewitt, Simon Hunter, Mark Holloway, Barry McCormick, Scott Joseph, Farhan Khan, Andrew Mackay, Alfred Mather, Neji Nejah, Andrew Nixon, Thomas Power, Sanjay Prabhakar, Don Rae, Rafiq Richard, Curtis Walker, Alex Revan
Director: Simon Hunter
Producer: Edward R. Pressman Film, First Foot Films, Grosvenor Park Productions, Paradox Entertainment, Stephen Belafonte, Stephane Bibeau, Alessandro Camon, Steve Christian, Tim Dennison, Charles Finch, Suraj Gohill, Jon Katz, Peter La Terriere, Fredrik Malmberg, Pras, Edward R. Pressman
Distributor: Edward R. Pressman Film, First Foot Films, Grosvenor Park Productions, Paradox Entertainment, Stephen Belafonte, Stephane Bibeau, Alessandro Camon, Steve Christian, Tim Dennison, Charles Finch, Suraj Gohill, Jon Katz, Peter La Terriere, Fredrik Malmberg, Pras, Edward R. Pressman, Sarah Ramey

“The darkest age is yet to come. Have faith.”

“At the end of the ice age the ‘machine’ came… it came with one purpose to change man into mutant.”

And, with that briefest of explanations, so begins the “Mutant Chronicles.” From the battlefields of what appears to be the middle-ages, the ‘machine’ is apparently defeated and sealed underground.

Jumping to the year 2707 finds Earth controlled by four (4) Corporations which are in a perpetual state of war with each other. The armies of two of those corporations engage, unknowingly, on a battlefield directly above the machine. One errant missile later and the mutants have escaped to plague the world again. Using the dead and dying, the mutants drag ‘new recruits’ back to the machine, creating millions more and threatening to bring about the end of the world.

Brother Samuel (Ron Perlman) is from a brotherhood of monks that have kept the “Sacred Book of the Chronicles” in their mountain retreat over the centuries. The ‘book’ speaks of a deliverer who will save them in the final battle. When the corporations decide to abandon Earth and move a few chosen survivors to off-world colonies, Brother Samuel receives the blessing of the Corporations’ head, Constantine (John Malkovich), to form a small team of seasoned soldiers led by Mitch Hunter (Thomas Jane) to destroy the machine and save what is left of humanity.

Objectionable Content

The violence is intense and very graphic, earning the film’s ‘R’ rating. In battle, soldiers are gassed and wretch in response. Bullets and explosions visibly take their toll, and blood and guts are evident everywhere. A dying friend is put out of his misery, and, though presented as an act of mercy, it was carried out mercilessly.

As for the mutants, the former human’s have morphed spear-like arms and use them to impale any and all humans—usually in the head. They are small arms resistant and as relentless as zombies. Being that many have already died, this is not far from the truth.

As you might imagine, the language is foul and touches upon most major curses, including every variant of the “F” word. Likewise, the Lord’s name is blasphemed and taken in vain on multiple occasions.

Most notable is the film’s presentation of religion. At its minimum, it parodies Christianity, and at its worst, it out and outright attacks it. The world in this film presents a brotherhood of monks, intentionally shrouded in Christian attire, and it is through Brother Samuel that we hear some of its tenets, which attempt to mix some truth with outright blasphemy. There are numerous examples of this.

The ‘sacred book’ speaks of a deliverer who will walk reborn and save them. In reality, this role belongs solely to Jesus Christ who, “…died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Instead, the main character, Mitch Hunter, is proclaimed by brother Samuel as “Apostate. Unbeliever. Savior.”

The film hints at the battle between light and dark and that the enemy, in the form of the machine, descended, as on high, from space. This is a twisted view of the truth, for the Word clearly teaches us that “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” (Ephesians 6:12).

Early on, Brother Samuel says to the ruling council—in a bizarrely contradictory statement for a holy man, “I am a man of faith… I’m asking… have faith, not in me, not even in this, but faith in man.” The Bible throughout asserts the opposite, and Jesus himself exhorts us to “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).

The sword-wielding Severian, the only female monk to accompany the band, admits that, although trained in the monastery, she cannot read the holy book: “I can’t read! I don’t need to read it to believe it’s true. That’s the nature of faith.”

This line perhaps best exemplifies what Hollywood in general thinks of Christians and shows how little they understand about faith.

From the beginning, the Word was given so that man would have direction. “These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you… so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live… so that you may enjoy long life” (Deuteronomy 6:1-2).

The whole of the Bible was meant to be read and understood. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

This is the hope that is sorely missed in this vision of Earth’s future.

Based on a role-playing game from the 90’s, “Mutant Chronicles” insults the intelligence of the viewer in not choosing to explain itself and ‘plays’ as though it were nothing more than a modern day zombie-themed video game. I cannot recommend this film on any level, let alone from a Christian standpoint, and the violence and language should put it out of reach of its sole target audience: teens. My advice to all, stay away from this movie.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: None

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—Watching “The mutant Chronicles” is like eating tofu and health food without it being healthy or helping you lose weight. What do I mean by that? The process isn't pleasant, and you don't get anything out of it in the end. If you watch “The Mutant Chronicles,” it'll be like eating tofu, but there's no substance and no benefit. Bland in every sense of the word. If you're looking for a thrill, look no further than the Sci-Fi channel. Yes it's already on TV, that's how I saw it. It was not only boring, there wasn't really anything about it that was redeeming. The Mutants are generic and boring, the sets are consistently Computer Graphics and green screens, and the story is just really stupid. Let's put it this way: it wasn't in theaters for a reason. “The Mutant Chronicles” is, as a whole, a complete pass.

The moral aspect isn't too bad, it was hard to pick out the language because most of it was bleeped out, and the violence is more stylized. It's filmed with a similar lens/color scheme that Spielberg used in “Schindler's List,” except it's obviously not as moving. I suggest something from The Underworld films, perhaps the Alien films, maybe even Resident Evil if you're in the mood for a film of this sort. But why watch violence, language and poor performances from Pearlman and Jane if you're gonna feel like you're chewing on tofu?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Ethan Samuel Rodgers, age 20 (USA)