Friday, November 19, 2010

2010: MOBY DICK

I have to wonder if someone important at The Asylum is allergic to seafood, because they're about to unleash another giant aquatic beast onto video - not a mega-shark or mega-piranha, but the original seafaring gargantua: Moby Dick! Of course, 2010: MOBY DICK (2010) is a decidedly Asylum-styled take on the material.

In 1969, a U.S. Navy submarine on maneuvers under the arctic ice cap is attacked and destroyed by a giant white whale. Among the survivors is a young Ensign Jonah Ahab, who loses his left leg in the encounter. Forty years later, the whale reappears, attacking ships in the Pacific. Ahab (Barry Bostwick, MEGAFORCE, PROJECT METALBEAST) now commands the supersub Pequod, and, after shanghaiing a pretty marine biologist named Dr. Michelle Herman (Renee O'Connor, XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS, ALIEN APOCALYPSE) to help him track the beast, sets out to hunt down and destroy the legendary Moby Dick.

As you can see, this is a contemporized retelling of Herman Mellville's classic novel, reimagined as a SyFy Channel giant monster flick. Paul Bales' script incorporates analogues of virtually every major character in Melville's book, and economically keeps most of the action confined to The Asylum's familiar standing submarine/battleship sets. The legendary white whale acts very much like the studio's popular star, Mega-Shark, attacking subs, cruise ships and low-flying aircraft with abandon. To be fair, since the source material is so strong, 2010: MOBY DICK manages to be fairly engaging and Trey Stokes, director of the Renee O'Conner webseries, ARK, keeps things moving along at a good clip.

It's fun watching Bostwick in a non-comedic role for a change, and he's not bad as the scarred, obsessed Ahab. Renee O'Conner is criminally underused, but she looks great, and handles her underwritten part with charm and humor. Most of the cast is decent, but there are a couple of cringe-worthy performances. The digital effects are slightly better than usual, and Chris Ridenhour's score, once again, is a highlight of the production. He really is The Asylum's MVP.

The Asylum DVD of 2010: MOBY DICKsports the usual 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and both 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo audio options. There's a behind-the-scenes featurette, a gag reel, and trailers for other Asylum titles.

I honestly can't say I'd recommend picking this up for anything but a rental, but if it interests you, or you're a fan of Asylum killer marine life flicks, it's worth watching at least once. If nothing else, it's an offbeat adaptation of a classic novel, and if you're familiar with the original Moby Dick, you might have fun picking out all of the references.

BUY: 2010: Moby Dick