Hey folks, Valkor here. In a couple of weeks I set my sights for L.A. and E3 2010 – the gaming Mecca for gamers. It's where I'll get the chance to check out games that'll be on store shelves and in your homes in months to come or maybe even the following year. And to get things started how about we take a look at a film that's not game related, but has gaming written all over it. I'm talkin about "Paintball" aka "Survivor Field".
The story of Paintball revolves on a group of eight paintballers whom you really won't give two shits about, on their way to a paintball tourney that's hosted by a group called "The Organization". Unfortunately for the group, someone is using real ammo and people start dyin. What the team doesn't know is that the Organization chose them specifically, based on their paintball skillz, to be a part of real life hunt where the rich can watch them die in an assortment of ways, behind the safety of bullet-proof glass. Working for the Organization is a hunter who uses geo-thermal goggles to spot them and through an ear piece he takes direction from someone back at base, who tells him how to kill the prey and who to kill next.
Ultimately it all comes down to one player vs. the killer and who will survive? Well if you read the bad section you'll find out, but trust me it's not a huge surprise. I mean you probably won't predict who'll live to the end, but when you get there you'll probably go "meh".
This film has video game written all over it! Everyone is packing a weapon, following a set path, finding new weapons, armor, items, and even falling through traps, all while being chased and hunted down by some unknown assailant whose motives they have no clue of or why. For the players, it's all hell breaking loose, nothing more and we as the viewer are along for the ride. And to further include us on the journey, there's lots of shaky cam following the character's actions, much like a 3rd person shooter. There's even some first-person action when we see the world through the killer's eyes. One scene worth mentioning, paintballer John (Peter Vives Newey) has just been shot and hung by the leg in a snare trap. The killer plays with his unconscious body a bit before setting up a bayonet right under him and cutting the rope. All of this is seen through his geo-thermal eyes. Speaking of scenes, this film has some lengthy ones. Some will go on for long stretches without nary an edit, especially during the action scenes. Just check out the first scene when the orange team starts shooting at the green team – there's not one cut as the camera flows from character to character as they evade bullets and attempt to battle back. So long cut scenes, lots of running around and item/weapon gathering and an unknown assailant chasing our players… sounds like a gamer movie to me. Finally, the music is spot on of a video game flick because it kicks in just when things are getting good and gets creepy when the killer is stalkin; it really sets mood.
First off, for a thriller, it's pretty uneventful; even with lots of shit happening, it's really not "edge of your seat" suspenseful. Next, as people die all around our main cast, they continue to play the game!! Rather than stop to try and piece shit together, they continue to look for flags and those damn boxes with items that are supposed to help them with "the game". Next is Dave (Brendan Mackay) - dude knows something. Has he played "The Game" before? Why was it so important that he get what's in those boxes? Actually, it doesn't matter because he bites it anyway. Next our main bad guy wears geo-thermal goggles in daylight. Who the hell does he think he is, the freakin Predator? Oh but as it's explained much towards the end of the film, he needs the goggles to see. IN DAYLIGHT?? REALLY!!!? If he was hunting at night it would be much cooler, but it's daytime… *sigh*. Finally, last paintballer to survive, Anna (Jennifer Matter), is able to get a hold of the killer's earpiece and screams into it for help, for which she eventually gets. The female voice on the other side tells her that she needs to gather the items in the boxes… REALLY!!! This chick has to backtrack to all those boxes just to make a weapon, to defeat this monster!! It's not like they were close together, they're pretty far apart! And you know what's even more fucked up? After she gathers all the pieces, the killer is suddenly hot on her trail. He fires a shot into her backpack… where the parts of the weapons are! So what happens? When she eventually pieces the shit together… the damn thing doesn't work because the shot into the backpack dinged up a hose that was much needed to make the weapon work!!!! WTF!!!! THAT pissed me off most, because I'd rather she just take out the out the guy with that bad ass gun. Instead she throws him through a window where he gets staked to death. Bleh!
Dave getting a mine to the chest. Though it's seen through geo-thermal eyes, it's still pretty gruesome. Oh and that ending was pretty WTF as well.
Paintball is a unique film and one hell of an experience, but it's a ride you'll probably wanna try once and after that it's game over man! Game over! If you're gonna check this one out, you better bring some friends to up the enjoyment level. Personally, I thought it was OK and it does have some bad ass moments that if taken separately would probably be better than watching the film as a whole. So out of TOV 5 stars, I give Paintball 3 stars. Anyone up for the Doom movie? Anyone? Super Mario Bros? No?