I should have added, my humble review. I am not a critic by any means. What I can provide you over here is a Warhammer 40k fan view on the long awaited full feature movie. I will try to tell you why or if it is worth to dish out £30 odd quid for your own copy.
To start with I have to say that after I have seen the trailers and teasers on Ultramarines Facebook page I was not impressed. Their movement seemed awkward, voice acting was decent but not as good as I would expect. So, a fan boy that I am, I started slagging off something I wished to love in nearest future. Many people hated me for it, and oh boy, did they voice their opinions about me. So, when the day came and I received my copy of the movie I called my mate Mike and we sat down and watched it, and here is what I think about it:
The character movement. I know they are Space Marines and they wear this armour that weighs a ton, but they should move smoothly and naturaly. The aromour should enhance their reflexes and body strength. Instead you can see their legs move in a very weird way; unnaturally. It seems like their abaility to move is hindered by the armour. Then there is them skipping from rock to rock trying to climb a mountain. That did not look good.
Voice acting. There are brilliant moments in the movie; unfortunately there are plenty more horrible ones. Let me give you an example: an apothecary leans over a wounded Space Marine and without any emotions what so ever states: 'Head wound, fatal'. I mean, I know they are battle hardened soldiers and there should be no flaffing about with them, but they have just lost a battle brother and nothing? I am not going even to tell how stupid it sounded when said about a guy who had half of his head missing...
Graphics themselves are brilliant. The Space Marine armour looks awesome, is full of detail and you can almost feel the love and heart someone has put into creating this piece of art. The vehicels like Land Speeder and a Thunderhawk look great. Full of detail inside and on the outside. Even the turbines turn and dust articles move up in in the air like they would.
The faces and motion capture of the actors looks incredibly well. It could be better I think, but I can easily say that it does the job. It's no Final Fantasy, but definitely better than Dawn of War cut scenes. One thing the faces reminded me of was Doom 3, the game. Same sort of bump mapping and lighting.
Creating an atmosphere is where this movie excels! Even though I was very sceptical and had a negative approach to the movie, I really enjoyed watching those Marines go places and talk to each other. It's no classic movie, but it comes across, sort of, authentic. It feels like that's what they would do and say.
Soundtrack is great; it is there in the background humming or thumping with bass or at very few brilliant moments filling the room with femal choir. Awesome!
The story is OK. I mean, I have read better stories written by people on forums than this. I know we all should praise Dan Abnett for writing this script, but I think he could have done a better job. I don't know what's his experience writing movie screenplays, but this is a good start, that hopefully will lead to something even better. Hopefully...
I wouldn't want to give away any plot details so I will stop now, because some other things that I liked or disliked could spoil you the movie. Summing up the movie I will say that I liked it. I liked it a bit after first time I have seen it. I like it even more after second viewing. I think it's due to me getting over bad acting and movement glitches and concentrating on the plot and the feel the movie
But you don't spend £30 pounds for just a movie. In the bundle you got a graphic novel and a bonus disc. The graphic novel explains why there is only 12 Space Marines landing on this planet to do what they have to do. Again, no spoilers, I promised! I will onl say that when we were watching it we felt like 'what? only 12 of them?, stupid!' But after reading the novel and rewatching the movie it all came together and made more sense.
The discs are encased in a nice metal box with Ultramarines logo on one side and Games Workshop's logo on the other (I'm pretty sure, I don't have it on me). It looks nice and feels like a collector's item, you know, those special edition DVDs.
The bonus disc contains plenty of interviews with GW staff involved in the movie and of course Codex Pictures. It's all fun to watch. The pretty cool thing about it is the Armoury, where you can pick your weapon and listen to it's sound effects and get some more info about it. Pretty neat!
All in all I would say it's a good attempt. Definitely not worth £30, but has a lot of collector's value for fans of 40k universe. I believe it's going to be a first in a big collection of 40k movies. Who knows, maybe even Warhammer Fantasy will get one? You never know with Games Workshop.
As a movie for a fan of 40k it's a 7 out of 10. For someone who has no idea who a Space Marine is... 4 out of 10? Maybe not even that. Depends on how high your standards are.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please leave comments and maybe your feedback about the movie. Did you like it? Did you like the same things I liked? Share with me!