Shitty movie fans are a tolerant bunch. We put up with bad scripts, bad direction, bad acting, and all-around incompetence, all in the search for the one shitty film out of a dozen that scratches our peculiar itch. For every Road House, there is a pile of films like Driven; for every Anaconda, a passel of Ghosts of War; and, for every expansive adventure like Spacehunter, there are an abundance of one-location bore-fests like 2036 Origin Unknown.
It’s the future! 2036! And space scientist Mack Wilson (Katee Sackhoff) is alone in a room talking to an AI called ARTI (voiced by Steven Cree). The two of them are mission control for a Mars rover expedition, sent to the red planet to find out what happened to a manned mission that crashed there some years earlier. The rover reaches the crash site and discovers a giant cube, origin unknown. Before they realize what is happening, the cube is gone, having teleported itself to Antarctica. What follows is some nonsensical claptrap, inane conversation between Mack and ARTI, and an ending that is supposed to make one think, I think.
What this movie really is, is 94 minutes of nothing much happening. Unless one is a fan of Katee Sackhoff being snarky. There is plenty of that. Her character is not a fan of ARTI, as he is now doing her old job, and she is reduced to a support role. One could also look at her performance as a reflection of the job itself. Her character clearly doesn’t want to be there, and neither does Sackhoff. You know what? I didn’t want to be there, either. I stuck it out, watching this entire awful movie, but not once was I ever drawn into the story, nor did I find connection with the characters, human or otherwise.
Director Hasraf Dulull (who also has story credit) has done something that is actually difficult. He has made a movie so bad that it is hateful. It is such a chore to watch that it has engendered hostility in this reviewer. The only positive to this film I can think of is that the CGI, while cheap, and very, very extensive, is not that awful. It’s not convincing in the least, but compare it with the bargain basement effects one sees in a giant shark movie, and this film is evidence that CGI is getting better and more affordable as the years go by.
That’s it for the praise. This movie sucks. There are thousands of better movies one could watch to get one’s shitty movie fix. Some people even make lists. 2036 Origin Unknown falls way down in the Index, landing with a thud in the #310 spot. Don’t waste your time.