Not in the Face! – Collision Earth Reviewed

25 Jan
Earth in a fender bender...

Bastard didn't even leave his insurance information...

When I sit down to watch a movie like Collision Earth, I’m hoping for one of two things – a shred of believability (sure, I guess humanity could be threatened by man-made ice twisters), or a sense that it’s not taking itself seriously (did I just see a shark jump out of the ocean and take down a jetliner?). That second bit can be achieved either through plot or by casting Stephen Baldwin as the lead. Sometimes a magical movie comes along that satisfies both requirements (Mega Piranha anyone?).

Unfortunately, Collision Earth satisfies neither option. It takes a preposterous premise entirely too seriously, and there’s nary a Baldwin to be seen.

I’ve wanted to do a running diary review of one of these SyFy movies for a while, and when I saw that Amy had done one for Mortal Kombat I figured the time had come. Spoilers will follow, so if you actually want to see the film… I still recommend reading this. I mean seriously, we’re not talking The Sixth Sense twist endings here.

Times are skewed since I didn’t watch this live (DVR – it’s FAN-tastic) and skipped commercials.

9:51 PM
Settling in to watch the movie. The only thing I know about this is from the previews, which shows a planet almost hitting the Earth. Could be fun.

Got my popcorn and my Arrogant Bastard Ale. This won’t help my attempts at dieting, but since the world’s about to virtually end I figure why not.

9:52 PM
We start off in a shuttle. At Mercury. This must be in the nebulous “near future” where we suddenly leap in technology by 30 years. Added artificial gravity – presumably for budget reasons. Here is where I know they are taking this movie seriously – less serious movies just won’t explain why they can walk around in space.

9:55 PM

The Sun apparently doesn’t like visitors getting that close. It just threw a fit and things are looking bad for our shuttle crew…

9:56 PM
Aaaaand cut to a classroom. Was that whole sequence just an educational film? It’s hard to tell with the editing.

We have our obligatory “establish a disgraced scientist as the good guy by showing him giving a lecture related to the impending disaster” scene. He’s talking about Project 7, which looks like an asteroid turned tugboat. Of course, it’s no longer funded but still up in space. How convenient.

We have our deus ex already – that was quick.

9:59 PM
Guess it wasn’t a film after all. The scientist, Dr. James Preston, knows someone on the ship.
He’s worried – there have been no new emails. From space. Obviously something must be terribly wrong.

He knows the woman on the shuttle. Victoria. Wife? Sister? Who knows?

10:01 PM
Project 7 calls him on his home computer. I guess that’s a hook for him to learn the awful truth.

10:02 PM
Our first Earth-based disaster footage. A solar wave hits San Francisco. Guess it can knock things over – that’s a hell of a wave.

10:03 PM
The good news? The shuttle’s OK. Sort of.
The bad news? There’s one dead. I swear, the token minority is the away team ensign of disaster films – they might as well wear red shirts.

The worse news? Mercury is apparently moving. OK then…

10:04 PM
We have our first “government bad guy establishes that he doesn’t like our scientist hero” scene. At least they’re on the ball – they already know that Mercury is heading for Earth (yes, you read that right). But they think it’ll pass by and not hit. I’m guessing since they didn’t name the movie Near Miss that this assumption will change before too long…

10:06 PM
Our doctor knows that something’s up. He has a friend look at the data to get him the answers he needs and to establish a comedic relief presence.

10:07 PM
Back on the shuttle, Victoria is trying to communicate with Earth…

And of course the only people who hear her are some conspiracy nut college kids. I’ll give the movie this – there’s been a distinct lack of surly, annoying teens so far. Unfortunately, these two might be the substitute for that.

10:09 PM
Magnetism. It all makes sense now. Apparently. The sun was a magnetar. Does that mean it lives in a maze? I sense a new SyFy movie coming from this…

Magnetaur Poster

Waiting for the trailer from SyFy any day now...


10:11 PM
Now meteors are raining from the sky. Run! Dodge those meteors!

10:12 PM
For interests of time, and my sanity, I will fast forward through all the commercials. Bloop, bloop, bloop…

10:13 PM
And were back. Looks like the main characters all survived. That’s good, since we’re only 20 minutes in. And now there’s a handy piece of meteor nearby for them to examine.

10:17 PM
The college kids rush off to SPEAR (a government lab) to get help for the shuttle.

Our doctor now knows the truth – Mercury has become a giant magnet! No hard drive is safe.

Looking through the telescope and noticing that mercury is missing, the doctor wants answers. You think?

10:21 PM
The college kids arrive at SPEAR and are turned away by a guard who looks a lot like Locke from Lost.

Meanwhile, both shuttle pilots are dead now. Things don’t look good for Victoria up in space.

10:23 PM
Not that things are looking all that great on Earth. Our doctor is driving to SPEAR, and objects are moving on their own behind him. Ominous.

Bloop bloop bloop…

10:26 PM
He arrives at SPEAR. With his tidbit about Mercury being a giant magnet, they recalculate and realize the Earth will get hit after all. Hence the title.

The government solution? Nuke the thing. Really? Nuke a planet? Because that always works, right? At least our doctor is skeptical. And since he went on about his space tug instead of nukes at the beginning of the move, I’m pretty sure how this ends…

10:30 PM
Some backstory. Head government guy took our doctor off his project – hence the dislike of one another. Again, very typical. It’s usually that or one stole the other’s wife/girlfriend.

Our doctor thinks Project 7 just needs a software patch to work. Head government guy disagrees.

[I bet you could probably fill in the rest of the plot from here and be 70 percent accurate.  Go ahead – give it a try. I’ll wait…]

10:32 PM
Our second city disaster. Everything metal (mostly cars) are flung in the air. Seattle has achieved the hipster dream – they’ve gone green ironically…

10:34 PM
The college kids break into our doctor’s house at Victoria’s request to contact him. They are at his computer when he shows up with his friend. At last, the good guys are all together.

He finally gets a chance to talk to his wife (ah, she’s his wife), and let’s everyone know about Earth’s impending doom. I’m impressed, the kids don’t go completely catatonic at that news.

Bloop bloop bloop…

10:41 PM
Our doctor finds out Project 7 can’t go anywhere – there’s damage to the hardware. Only the shuttle can fix it. And the shuttle has been silent since the students’ radio died, so he can’t tell his wife.

[At this point I made the mistake of looking at the timeline and realizing it was only half over. It’s a bad sign when you see that and sigh.]

10:47 PM
The kids go to an airplane junkyard to find a component for the broken radio, and are found by a grumpy junkyard owner with a rifle. A chase ensues. Can we call him Cougar in the credits?

10:50 PM

Cougar is using a scope – yet he’s a horrible shot. Then he gets flattened by a car.

And with that one of the more pointless tension building attempts in the movie comes to an end…

Bloop bloop bloop…

[At this point in my notes, I wrote “This is taking forever.” Yup, that kind of movie.]

10:51 PM
Our doctor and his friend make it into a data storage location. I’m starting to like the sidekick – his comedic relief moments are refreshing drops of water in this movie desert.

They get the file they need and go to meet up with the college kids.

10:55 PM
Our doctor and friend get ambushed on the road. An idiot in a badly fitting letterman jacket takes their car, and the wipes out as things get chaotic on Earth.

Unfortunately, our comic relief becomes a casualty as well. I never should have mentioned I was starting to like him – apparently the movie is now actively seeking out and destroying anything that might make the movie watchable.

11:00 PM
After meeting up on the road, the surviving good guys arrive at a train wreck. And because there’s still too much time left in the movie, their car stalls. They have to walk from here.

11:02 PM
Meanwhile, the government plan to nuke Mercury failed. What a shock.

11:03 PM
Now in contact with the shuttle, our doctor tells his wife to head to Project 7. Since nothing can happen in the movie without a tangential bit of tension, the life support on the shuttle starts failing.

11:05 PM
The good guys carjack some government guards. Sometimes you don’t need to comment…

11:07 PM
Unnecessary shuttle life support countdown. 10 minutes of life support left…
5 minutes…

11:08 PM
Life support is back up. That was pointless.

Storms are cropping up now. Wait, wasn’t that from Ice Twisters?

[I checked, and yes – they reused the same footage from another movie. I guess if it works for Michael Bay…]

More falling cars all around the good guys as they try to stay on the road…

Bloop bloop bloop…

11:11 PM
The shuttle is approaching project 7.

Looks like our heroes crashed, and the cute college girl didn’t make it. Now it’s our down to our doctor and the whiny half of the college kids.

11:14 PM
We have our first shot of mercury in the sky from Earth. That would be a rather bladder-emptying sight in real life, but they manage to really make you not care by this point in the movie. I think I’m starting to root for the planet…

Project 7 is now on the move, but without that patch it needs. By the way, it looks like a giant asteroid with engines. I had anime flashbacks when I saw it – Comet Empire, anyone?

11:17 PM
Having skillfully infiltrated an empty, exploding government facility, our remaining good guys reach the computer that can communicate with Project 7. Time for the software upload.

Progress is slow. If I were a trendy tech writer from SF or New York I might make an AT&T comment here. But since I’m outside those two spots and get good reception, I’ll leave it alone…

11:18 PM
The update is complete. Just in time, too – here comes the cosmic headbutt.

11:19 PM
The docking collar is broken – the shuttle can’t escape. Of course it is. It won’t matter – these are just annoying little attempts to ratchet up tension.

The good guys flee the exploding facility. The music swells as they go. And…

SyFy needs some serious lessons on when to cut to commercial.

Bloop bloop bloop

11:20 PM
Despite the broken docking collar, the shuttle breaks free (see? Pointless  – I told you) just as the small asteroid hits Mercury.

11:21 PM
A view of the sky as mercury recedes. Not sure how the physics worked here, but the writers didn’t care so why should I?

11:22 PM
The good guys try the shuttle on the radio. Static just delays the inevitable answer.

Small talk/joke time. And…

11:24 PM
Credits.

My boredom may have been partly due to taking notes during the film, but this movie was not well paced. It could have ended at least 30 minutes earlier. There was too much padding in the second half – too many attempts at dramatic tension.

In the end, I can’t recommend this film. If you want a space disaster film, take a look at Earth Storm.

At least it has Stephen Baldwin in the lead…

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4 Responses to “Not in the Face! – Collision Earth Reviewed”

  1. steve August 4, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    Was it sigourney weaver as the voice of the computer?

    Like

    • thomasserio August 4, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

      I’m not sure. IMDB doesn’t list her anywhere.

      Like

  2. thelandroverownerswife October 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Lol, your review made me chuckle. My other half and our two youngest daughters are currently watching this (cute college girl just clouted some military guy on the head with a wheel wrench) and the 9 year old just said it looks like Earth Storm but not as good 😀

    Like

  3. Syifish April 5, 2017 at 7:17 am #

    Diane Farr compealty ruined this movie. She had absolutely no emotions with her acting! I might have enjoyed this flick a tad if they just took all of her scenes out!

    Like

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