Don’t you just hate it when you find out something is wrong and there is nothing you can do about it. Well that is what the US military and some scientist are going through, under everyone’s very noses there has been a time bomb just waiting to explode. In the span of one entire day everyone in America is going to learn that a giant fault line exists through the middle of the entire continent and in the span of twenty four hours it is going to destroy everything in its way.
Directed by: David Michael Latt
Starring: Brittany Murphy, Eriq La Salle, Justin Hartley, Bruce Davison
“A crack in the world has started… we have 24 hours to stop it.”
It’s Saturday night and we know what that means its movie premier night on the SyFy (why did they change its spelling to that?) channel. Most of you reading this already know what to expect when it comes to one of the many SyFy channel original films those who are new to the subgenre however let me explain some things. The SyFy channels original films do suffer from budget restraints, and sometimes I honestly think that there is a lack of good judgment inside of the rooms where these films are actually discussed.
Viewers have come to appreciate the lukewarm acting, hell some of us can’t wait to see what former television stars find their way into the films. We as a purely dedicated group also come to expect a lot of shoddy CGI effects, but isn’t this why we watch the SyFy Channels films anyway? In David Michael Latt’s 2009 film Megafault the channel has decided that it is going to test the waters of the disaster film movie.
The disaster movie is mainly popular with audiences because it allows them to safely see the destruction cities from the comfort of our own homes. Usually film makers make use of special effects to pull off these images of mass destruction. Someone should have said something to David Michael Latt about the SyFy channels over use of CGI effects though because the destruction seen in Megafault is just about laughable, but this doesn’t make it a bad movie. Like I said in the statement up there we watch the SyFy channel movies because we expect them to be bad and it gets a chuckle out of most of us.
Megafault starts off by showing a demolition crew blowing up some mountains. As the mountains in the distance begin falling (I will not state just how bad the effects are for these sequences or any of the “destruction” scenes later you already know they are bad) everything seems to be going normal.
After everything starts to settle however the main worker, a guy who calls himself Boomer, begins to notice that the ground still is shaking. Before Boomer can yell for his men to get to safety the ground opens up right where the men are standing sucking them down inside of the Earths surface. Boomer curses his bad luck and then gets into his truck and starts to drive away while fissures created from the earthquake chase his vehicle. Yes I said it correctly the fissures chase after him, this happens quite a few times (I can think of three without looking at my notes right now) and yeah it is pretty ridiculous but again it doesn’t make the film bad in fact the ridiculousness of the situation really does make the film enjoyable. Boomers truck suddenly gets stuck because of these stalking fissures and soon his truck is swallowed up into the ground as well.
Meanwhile two hundred and fifty miles away in Washington D.C. there is some kind of earthquake awareness convention going on (how conveniant). A young woman, Dr. Amy Lane is doing a speech about how in the future we as the people will be able to predict when a large earthquake is going to hit. It really is too bad that Dr. Lane doesn’t have that technology at that moment however cause right in the middle of her speech the earthquake hits; yes it’s the same earthquake. Viewers get treated to various scenes of people running around outside, and some of them do actually look scared. This scene pretty much sets up all of the scenes of the cities being destroyed. The city dwellers that are walking on the streets just really don’t look like they had much direction in what they are supposed to do at all. The viewer is however treated to an actually decent shot of the Washington monument crashing down. Okay earlier in this review I may have been hard on the effects for the SyFy channel’s films and I will say that Megafaults FX are a little better than what I am used to seeing, but that isn’t saying much.
Dr. Lane gets requested to go where the quake started in the first place; this doesn’t sit to well with her husband and young daughter who are told that they are getting flown quickly to Denver Colorado. The separation of the family becomes the main subplot of the film, when we aren’t seeing scenes with Dr. Lane dealing with the horrible CGI quake we get to see shots of her husband and daughter who have an even crazier adventure. While Dr. Lane is at the target site of the quake she pulls out a handy computer gadget to read things to see if another one is going to happen. While working with her computer she hears a car horn and after repelling down the side of a cliff she discovers Boomer’s buried truck with Boomer still in it. Don’t worry though not only is Boomer still alive, he is also able to repel up the cliff himself and when the quake decides to strike the group again he is one of the fastest runners to the chopper to take them to their next stop.
There’s a lot of craziness that happens in Megafault but eventually the viewer does find themselves at a military base. Wait did I mention the part where Dr. Lane and Boomer steal a helicopter, so yeah they steal a helicopter and how they distract everyone is Boomer blows up a portapottie. Boomer has his nickname because he likes to blow things up, get it? Anyway while at the military base Dr. Lane learns about a military weapon that is designed to actually cause an earthquake. The group decides to use this weapon to cause a second earthquake in hopes that it will cancel out the first one. The entire time all this is going on in the secret base Dr. Lane’s husband is dealing with all kinds of drama from crashing in an airplane to trying to outrun the stalking fissures in a highly explosive eighteen wheeler. I will say Megafault doesn’t waste anytime in showing destruction, one could create an awesome drinking game if you were to say take a drink every time an explosion happens.
Well the militaries idea of creating a second quake doesn’t really work and instead it causes some kind of problem with a super volcano (I was secretly hoping that this would be another movie all together) so now the group of scientist and military personal have to think of a way to stop the quake right in its tracks. Boomer comes up with the great idea to create a second grand canyon, in the span of two hours. Again Megafault is ridiculous but if you are still watching it at this point you are having just as much fun as I was and it only builds up to a pretty boring ending really. I was expecting a little more fire works after almost ninety minutes of things blowing up.
The cast of Megafault also tries very hard with what they are given. The dialogue in the film is hardly anything to write home about. I will also state that the beginning of the film is probably the best I’ve seen Brittany Murphy look in quite a while, after some of the destruction however she starts to look more like the Brittany we all know and love. Eriq La Salle’s performance as Boomer however is just kind of well really it looks like he isn’t even trying in a lot of the scenes particularly when he sees his mother’s house blow up because of the earthquake.
Megafault is a lot of fun if you go into it knowing already what you are getting into. If however you go into Megafault expecting to see something like some of the more big budgeted Hollywood disaster movies you are going to leave very disappointed. My verdict is to turn on that inner twelve year old all of us have locked inside that likes to see things get blown up and you will enjoy the hell out of Megafault.