2010: Moby Dick (2010)

DVD Cover (The Asylum Home Entertainment)
Genres / Traits: Action, Action Thriller, Natural Horror, Whales
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Trey Stokes Trey Stokes
Barry Bostwick Barry Bostwick
Renée O'Connor Renée O'Connor
Matt Lagan Matt Lagan
Adam Grimes Adam Grimes
Dean Kreyling Dean Kreyling

2.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: May 11, 2012
The Asylum is known primarily for their mockbusters, but every here and there, they get the inkling to take a classic piece of literature and modernize them. Here, Herman Melville's tale of the titular great white whale in Moby Dick gets such treatment.

It's 1969, and the submarine USS Acushnet is patrolling through Russian waters, when a young private named Ahab realizes something is wrong with the sonar he's monitoring. If you didn't know, sonar works by hitting an object with sound waves and using the echo to pinpoint it's location. Ahab realizes that there's a spot where this echo vanishes; others on the sub hear nothing, but Ahab picks up on the dead space. Unfortunately, they ignore his claims, and the submarine is demolished by a monstrous whale. The attack leaves Ahab badly scarred, short one left leg and absolutely overwhelmed with revenge. Forty years later, Ahab is now captain of another submarine, the USS Pequod, and has commandeered marine biologist Michelle Herman. Dr. Herman's work specializes in using a computer program to communicate with whales. Ahab claims he has been given orders to destroy the whale in the interest of public safety, but it soon becomes apparent that he has commandeered the sub and gone rogue, with nothing but revenge on his mind.

Now, I've never read the book, nor seen any other adaptations, so for the most part I'll be reviewing The Asylum's film on its own merits. With that said, I did glance over the book's Wikipedia page. Sure there's the obligatory name allusions, yet they seem to line up only superficially. Michelle Herman, the name obviously a reference to the author, takes the place of our Ishmael. Likewise, the plot has been completely retooled, with scenes here and there referencing it's printed counterpart, but it seems that "referencing" is as close as it gets.

While this adaptation is nothing amazing, I liked it. The plot moves along at a decent pace and the action sequences come frequently enough. To be perfectly honest, that's all I wanted from it. It kept me entertained for the length of its running time, and for the Asylum, that's all I ask. Still, there's some definite problems with logic here and there. Obviously, nobody expects a water-proof plot, but when a nuclear warhead creates a small explosion and leaves its target anything less than vaporized, heads are being scratched. The whale itself was brought to life using the Asylum's usual CGI technique. It's very obviously a computer construct, but if you don't mind the cartoony appearance, it's a well animated piece, and I had no trouble accepting it as part of the "real world". One of the problems I did have with the whale was its color; this "white whale" is more of a light gray. I'm not sure why they felt the need to make that decision but it certainly irked me.

On the human side of things, Barry Bostwick absolutely failed at Ahab. Even with my limited knowledge of the story, I know that his insanity is the driving force behind it all, and Bostwick just couldn't get that across. At no point did I buy him as a raving madman, and the collateral damage that had on the rest of the movie can not be understated. On the other side of the table, I thought Matt Lagan more than held his own as Captain Boomer. The rest of the cast fell comfortably in the middle. Objectively speaking, they were all the wrong side of that par line, but not enough to cause any true damage.

While I'm sure fans of the original classic tale will have a completely different opinion, fans of The Asylum should find this one worth watching. I found it a decent enough flick. 6/10.
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