Monday, August 14, 2017

Painkillers (2015)

Number Rolled: 25
Movie Name/Year: Painkillers (2015)
Tagline: The cure for mankind has been discovered.
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Length: 104 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production Companies: Liberation Pictures, Ferns Entertainment, Badlands Features, Credo Cinema
Producer: Petros Danabassis Andrew Ferns, Tobin Greenberg, Jarret Haberl, Peter G. Horn, Greg Longay, Julie Mitchell, Kirk Roos, Jason Speer, Lars P. Winther
Director: Peter Winther
Writer: Jason Groce, Kirk Roos, Peter Winther
Actors: Tahmoh Penikett, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Colm Feore, Erica Durance, Julia Voth, Rick Bognar, Tom Carey, Skerivet Daramola, Travis Friesen, Joel Jackshaw, Roger LeBlanc, Caroline Lindy, Scott Morasch, Catia Ojeda, Riza Santos, Mandie Vredegoor, Talyan Wright
Stunts: Sheldon Maxwell, Steven McMichael, Daniel Onerheim, Holly Raczynski

Blurb from Netflix: Marines sent on a classified mission to Afghanistan find themselves trapped in a military hospital with no memory of how they got there.

Selina’s Point of View:
As a movie, this was fine… but I don’t think that’s the direction they should have gone.

You have no idea how epic I think this would be as a television show.

Painkillers should not have been a film, it should have been a pilot episode. To give you an idea of what it would be like as a show, think Warehouse 13 (2009-2014) meets Torchwood (2006-2011). I think it’s still entirely possible to get a series out of what was created. I have tons of ideas about how it would work out. I bet the writers would be able to come up with even more.

Quite frankly, I’d watch it. I know friends that would watch it, too.

As a movie, the story was decent and the characters were as deep as they could be considering they had no memories. It had cheaper effects than most people like, but if you can suspend disbelief, then it doesn’t matter much.

The actors were pretty good, though I wasn’t all that fond of Colm Feore (House of Cards, Mean Dreams, King Lear). I don’t think he embodied his character well, at all. One questionable actor, however, doesn’t ruin anything. The main protagonists did their jobs well.

I think the movie was worth a watch, but I will be disappointed if it simply ends there. Syfy would be a good home for a series that uses this film as a prequel.

Cat’s Point of View:
Here’s a fun fact about this movie. It won the 2015 Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) Award for Best Dramatic Feature. It’s the only award IMDb lists, and there aren’t any other nominations, either. Was that a ‘bless their hearts, they tried’ award?

The film wasn’t horrible, per se – it was just a bit meh for me. I had a very hard time suspending my disbelief through a lot of it. The shoot-em-up scenes didn’t feel authentic to me, and there was just something else I couldn’t put my finger on that bothered me through the whole thing. It made the movie feel a lot longer than it was.

I don’t think there was any one performance that particularly put me off. I recognized some of the core cast from other projects. Sadly, I enjoyed them in those other productions better. 

Lesley-Ann Brandt’s (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Drift, The Librarians) character was well dubbed as ‘Guts.’ Her character kicked ass, but I like her better as Mazikeen in Lucifer (2015-). Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse, Riftworld Chronicles, Pure Pwnage) was well placed in his role here. He certainly has the jawline and physique for roles like this, but he came across a bit flat with this character as opposed to some of his other work.

Part of that problem likely points to script and direction.

All told, there are far better movies out there for fans of the military or para-military team genre through science fiction and war movies alike. My recommendation is to watch one of those instead.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 30%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.0/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2/5

Movie Trailer:

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