Wednesday, December 22, 2010


by SandWyrm

I finally got to see the new Ultramarines movie. So what did I think? (Mild Spoilers)

Well, it's better than I expected, but not as good as I'd hoped for. It falls somewhere in story quality between an above-average episode of Doctor Who and the Vin Diesel Sci-Fi film "Pitch Black". With visuals that fall somewhere between the in-game graphics of Doom 3 and the more recent Bioshock.

The first 2 acts are straight Dr. Who, with a bunch of grumpy, overly talky heroes walking SLOWLY through a misty, indistinct world towards an ill-defined goal surrounded by adversaries they can't see. With half of the party dying along the way. When they finally get there they find that a big battle took place, of which there's only a few survivors. It's boring, but at least some of the banter is entertaining.

The second half is the end of the movie "Aliens" with a few character roles swapped around. Our heroes have to get something important off world without dying to the evil Chaos Marines. They do, but then find out that they're not safe on their own ship. It's completely predictable, but far more entertaining than the first half of the movie. Which is a switch for Dan Abnett, because his stories usually are much better at the beginning than the end.

The graphics are... adequate. What I disliked the most was the art direction. The film looked exactly like a bunch of 40K figures walking around a 40K games table. The marines weren't re-proportioned to make them look more heroic and less chubby. Neither were they any more or less detailed than a 28mm model would be. So they looked really silly being thrown about or shot. Like a child playing with action figures. Imagine trying to watch the Dark Knight with Justice League visuals and you'll understand the disconnect this caused.

All in all, I'd say it's worth about $12 to a dedicated 40K fan, and about $5 to a general Sci-Fi audience.


  1. Dr. Who can be good, but usually isn't.

  2. I like Dr Who too, and any episodes that seem goofy are. Its part of the campy appeal, goofy, fun and serious, all at the same time. Like the old Star Trek series. What I get from the Ultramarines movie isn't that it is trying to be serious, and comes across goofy. I get a fan made movie, with a limited budget. I agree the first half is horrible, and the animation is not great. That being said, it was not a complete waste of time. Check out my entire review here.

  3. I agree that it is not complete waste of time. But then again, "not a complete waste of time" is not really a good review for the movie :) It's like saying to your girlfriend that she's not a complete retard (yet).

  4. I just found it humerous that throughout the whole movie, I don't think the power armor actually deflected anything. If space marines died that fast in the game, nobody would play them;)

  5. @The Chris

    Exactly. They really needed to be fighting IG cultists or something instead of Chaos Marines. That would have made the heroes seem more badass than they actually were.

    Single bolter shots to a helmet killing the guy inside? Oh please.

  6. seems to suffer from stormtrooper syndrome.

  7. I was vastly more confused by the Captain toting a Power Sword around for most of the movie, including the opening training scenes, but then suddenly switching to a Chainsword when they actually go into battle and acting like it was the most important thing ever.

    Also, is a Crozius supposed to shoot out CSM-destroying laser beams? I just thought it was a thing you hit traitors with.

    On the bright side, at least that Daemon Prince beat the hell out of some people.

  8. We know you've seen it but you could consider a spoiler warning for those who haven't seen it yet...

    Other that that. Pretty spot on review I think. I echo, Dodger's confusion about the purpose of the Crozius Arcanum...

  9. Sorry, I thought I was non-specific enough in the review to avoid spoiler problems.


out dang bot!

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