Far Cry, technically an adaptation of the video game sharing the same name, is directed by Uwe Boll. That alone probably tells you that it’ll likely be awful, but I’ve enjoyed some of Boll’s films in the past. If they’re really that bad, they still have the potential to be enjoyable. Laughing at a bad movie with some friends can be quite a fun experience, after all, so it’s with that sort of mindset that I approached Far Cry.
The film opens with some confusion. I had no idea what was going on for the half hour or so. There are a lot of characters, many of whom look the same, and since I had never played the video game, I wasn’t sure what the basic plot layout would be. I wasn’t even sure who was supposed to be our main character until things started going south. It turns out that our lead is a man named Jack Carver (Til Schweiger), a war veteran, who currently spends his time drinking or running a whale-watching tour. Sometimes he does both at the same time, we assume. I think his possible alcoholism is supposed to be his flaw, but since it never factors into anything, it’s just a footnote.
He’s approached one day by Valerie (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a reporter who has been told by her uncle that something fishy is happening on an island which is off-limits to the public. She hopes that Jack will sail her over to the island so that she can meet with her uncle and learn exactly what’s going on, but things go wrong when her uncle is found out, she is captured, and Jack’s boat is blown to smithereens. Jack then uses his military training in hopes to save Valerie and maybe take down the evilness of the island, too.
It’s basically an excuse to have a bunch of action scenes, many of which involves Genetically Engineered Super Soldiers, who can take bullets without body armor but unfortunately are mindless killing machines. They predictably get released for an all-out brawl near the end of the film, but don’t actually play a large role in the movie. I don’t know why they’re being created or what their ultimate purpose is, but I do know that they must be stopped.
Essentially, we don’t know much about our villains, only that they are evil killing machines. That’s fine, I suppose, as a villain you know nothing about can often be more terrifying than one you know intimately, but here it isn’t very effective, in large part because, for most of the time, Jack is fighting random, generic soldiers. The super soldiers don’t do anything until the final third of the film, and even then, they’re not as imposing a presence as you would expect.
Uwe Boll has always been fine at directing action scenes. They’re always watchable, often entertaining, and you can usually tell what’s going on in them. That’s all true here, but, like with most of his films, it’s everything around the action that doesn’t work. The first third of the film contains no action, and is all set-up for later on, there are only a few action scenes once this set-up period is over, and any attempt at drama doesn’t work at all.
There are even some attempts at comedy sprinkled throughout, all of which feel so forced that I cringed every time there was a comedic attempt. There’s even one attempt at romance, wherein there was the build-up to a sec scene, followed directly by a dialogue exchange in which a character asks “How did I do?” followed by “2/10.” Was the second character being sarcastic with that rating? We’ll have to wait the whole film to find out, and even then, it doesn’t matter. These types of things — like Chris Coppola showing up for the final third solely for comedic relief — try to keep the tone light, but I don’t remember laughing even once.
Far Cry wore me out. By the end, I felt exhausted and bored. There was so much tedium and similar-looking scenes that this 95-minute film felt like it played for three hours. Even once everything breaks loose and anything can happen, it didn’t feel like there was much difference from the events preceding this portion. What should have been a climax felt more like a sleep hypnotism program. I felt defeated by this movie.
The performances are terrible. Til Schweiger doesn’t have an ounce of charisma or even much determination in this film. Whenever a dramatic or comedic scene happened, I felt like he was as uncomfortable as I was. Vaugier is almost as bad, showing no emotional response to being kidnapped, staring as stoically as she could straight ahead, with a look of “I can’t believe I’m in this movie” glued to her face at all times. I get that people do these films for money, but I’d still appreciate a little bit of effort.
Far Cry is a typical Uwe Boll movie. The action scenes are fine, but there aren’t enough of them and the film surrounding them is just awful. The performances are poor, the drama falls flat, the comedy is anything but funny, and even the action scenes feel same-y and, while watchable, are nothing more than technically competent. This isn’t one of the “so bad it’s good” movies; it’s just so bad. If you can manage to avoid seeing Far Cry, it would be in your best interest to do so.