Once in a while a movie will get a big screen run, when honestly it probably shouldn't have no matter how decent it really is. "The Colony" is chilling post-apocalyptic thriller shot in our own backyard that chronicles what the human race would truly do as they struggle to survive.
Set during the next ice-age, an outpost of colonists struggle to survive below the world’s frozen surface. Short on supplies, and plagued by illness and internal conflict, the colonists suspect the worst when they mysteriously lose contact with their only other known settlement, Colony 5. When Colony 7’s leader Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) decides to lead an expedition to discover what happened, he is challenged by Mason (Bill Paxton), his former comrade-in-arms, who has his own ideas of what is best for the colonists. Briggs takes two volunteers on the mission including Sam (Kevin Zegers), a strong-willed mechanic who seizes the opportunity to confront the icy wasteland that orphaned him. When they reach their destination, the team discover a threat much worse than nature and must battle to save themselves and protect their fellow colonists in what might be humanity’s last stand.
Shooting the bulk of this film in a decommissioned NORAD base up in North Bay, Ontario was a nice touch as director Jeff Renfroe put together a decent enough little film that looked quite good while ramping up the tension at every single turn. The narrative while admittedly basic runs through the bullet points of this kind of movie well enough, setting up our heroes, villains and hammering home a general sense of hopelessness as they strive to hang on for as long as they can. The action is solid, and the interior action shots are particularly strong as Renfroe can max out light and shadow in creating a creepy vibe as the stakes get higher and things get more intense. The script is fairly basic with dialogue that ranges from solid all the way to corny at times, there were no gapping logic holes but it truly didn't bring anything new to the table. The film just did as little work as possible guiding us from action sequence to action sequence that actually looked pretty good considering it was a Canadian production on a limited budget. It is a true testament to the people who worked on this film behind the scenes as it did have at least some of the polish of a big budget production. Thankfully a half decent ensemble cast at least kept it all somewhat respectable as well.
Kevin Zegers is carving out an interesting little niche for himself in regards to himself as a working actor. As Sam, he plays the expected emotions of anger, sadness and confusion as he instinctively tries to find his way in this world that is crumbling around him. Laurence Fishburne plays the sage, grizzled veteran leader role along with the best of them and fits into the film rather easily. Sadly Bill Paxton doesn't get a ton of on screen time however he works quite well in the dynamic of the story. Nobody in the ensemble embarrasses themselves, but there wasn't a lot of character driven meat on the bones of this film for any of the actors to work with.
Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are first rate and the special features include a behind the scenes look at "The Colony".
While it didn't work as a theatrical release since it does fall into some standard 'B-Movie' genre movie trappings, "The Colony" works for what it is as a diverting post-apocalyptic action tale, especially on the small screen.
3 out of 5 stars.