Right now you’re looking at this review, thinking to yourself, “Do I really need to read a review of a Uwe Boll movie? That guy only makes bad movies based on video games.” On any other day I’d totally agree with you. It almost seems like reviewing such a film would be pointless, but if you know me you know that I’m a glutton for punishment. I also let my curiosity get the better of me, and have been known to host more than a couple “Bad Movie Night” hangouts at my apartment.
Far Cry, just like every other film, deserves a blank slate upon viewing, but even more so because it isn’t just the usual “Boll-shit.” Yeah, thank you, Amit, for that one. I had to use it. I dare say that this is easily the best film that Uwe Boll has put in the can, up to this point. While that might come across as effectively as saying that herpes is the best disease, I just can’t find it in my heart to say that Far Cry is all that bad of a movie. I’m not saying that it is without problems, and large ones at that, but for what it is I don’t think anyone that actually watches it is going to be grossly disappointed with it.
While, the story strays largely from the original PC game it was based off of, the narrative it pulls from wasn’t the strongest to begin with. Removing and changing some of the details doesn’t take much away from making the film feel anything like Far Cry. If it doesn’t quite get the atmosphere right it would be mostly because of the scenery and the strained humor throughout. It is never quite as tropical and sunny as any Far Cry game looks, and I never remember the games being filled with so many bad jokes.
Following the exploits of Jack Carver, a boat captain for hire, with former Special Forces training in the German Army, the film unveils the “secrets” of the game early on. With an opening that is part Jurassic Parkand Predator, with a little bit of Dog Soldiers thrown in, an attack on private military officers by a mutated militia gives you an early idea of what the action in the film is going to be like. Fast, frantic, and bloody murders were delivered at high frequency and quantity. Boasting the best action sequences that Boll has managed to push out, there is one sequence involving a helicopter, a grappling gun, and a military SUV that is so ridiculous that it was awesome.
Around the time Jack enters the film you start to realize just who made it. Anytime there isn’t intentional humor in the film it can be a fun and slightly goofy action film. Unfortunately, whenever there are comic relief characters or dialogue exchanges, expect the worst. This happens early in the film with a whale-watching tourist couple on Jack’s boat. It is painful to watch. It seems that after making Postal the Boll crew decided to pepper the script with some half-assed jokery which does the film no service. There are a couple of moments where Chris Coppola, as Emilio the “food guy,” has a physical comedy freak-out that made me genuinely laugh. Otherwise, his overly whiny character serves as both a failed comic relief and deus ex machina. If the film would have been played completely straight, it would probably be getting much less hate from folks than it has up to this point.
With a director’s commentary, outtakes, deleted scenes, and two behind-the-scenes featurettes, if you really wind up loving the movie then you’ve got enough on this disc to keep you busy. The outtakes aren’t nearly as funny as you would think, but they are worth watching just to see Udo Kier go into supreme bitchy diva mode on set.
Overall, Far Cry delivers some very decent action with a surprising and genuine urge to entertain. Completely expecting only the worst from it may have lowered my guard, but even then I think I would have had fun with this film. It is in no way as kinetic as something like Crank or The Transporter but it does have some of the lovely action cheese that makes those outlandish films fun to watch. So, there you have it. Uwe Boll has stepped up his game. (No pun intended.) I’m not going to say that this is the must-watch film of the year, but if you are having friends over and want to watch a mindlessly fun film I see no reason why you shouldn’t check out Far Cry.
If you do watch the movie, please come back here and give me your thoughts in the comments section below. I really want to hear what people, outside of the film-critic circle, genuinely think about this one.
Special Features: B-