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  Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Bored Game Spin-Off
Year: 2010
Director: Martyn Pick
Stars: Terence Stamp, John Hurt, Sean Pertwee, Steven Waddington, Donald Sumpter, Johnny Harris, Ben Bishop, Christopher Finney, Gary Martin
Genre: Action, Animated, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: A couple of warriors are fighting with swords on a spaceship, looked on by their comrades. One of them wins and is congratulated, for these men are the Ultramarines who travel the universe seeking demons to vanquish, which will see them pressed into action when they receive a distress call from a desert planet not too far away. Will there be entities who have broken through from another dimension to tackle?

Yes, there probably will be in this relatively short animation - seventy minutes or so - made to publicise the popular Warhammer board game, a pasttime with many rules and details to lose oneself in. Whether the same would be true of this film was a lot more doubtful, as for a start the animation was obviously done on the cheap, fair enough not every production company is Pixar, but all the way through this looked like a computer game from the mid-nineties rather than a slick and glossy cartoon that could have held the interest to even a mild extent.

Not helping was the fact that every one of the marines - every one of them male - looked pretty much identical, a few armour elements apart, leaving the viewer reliant on the voices, which were surprisingly starry for a work of this budget, Terence Stamp and John Hurt among them, oh, and Sean Pertwee but you might have expected that. Alas, they sounded as if they'd been recorded in the director's front room one afternoon such was the flat, interior quality, not much help when they were meant to be outside for a substantial stretch of the movie.

Also not helping was their armour; it took about half an hour for the bullets to start flying, which felt like a very long wait, but once the marines are down on the planet they may be wearing the biggest protection around, but it must have been made of cardboard judging by how easily they were mown down. Evidently hoping we would be making favourable comparisons to Aliens, that likely wouldn't be the case when boredom settled early and never lifted as the marines were picked off one by one with grinding predictability, leaving a film that could be watched on fast forward without missing anything significant. Really, if you were a Warhammer fan, the game would be your first love, and this deadly dull spin-off would win no converts. Music by Adam Harvey.

[Anchor Bay's Blu-ray has making of and background featurettes, as well as an animated graphic novel type thing and a trailer as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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