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Bob Doto [Film Festival 11.15.08] movie review news scifi horror

Year: 2008
DVD Release date: February 27, 2008
Director: Daniel Myrick
Writer: Daniel Myrick / Mark A. Patton/ Wesley Clark
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Bob Doto
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

One could say that The Objective, which takes place in Afghanistan, isn’t a political film, but why would you want to? It is, but in the most even-keeled manner I have ever seen. And for that reason I want to salute (no pun intended) this movie and tell you about my experience.

Politics and horror. Oil and vinegar. Peanut butter and jelly. Sure, you could separate the two and digest each by their lonesome, but why would you want to? Horror films, just being what they are—horrific—are by their very nature political films. That’s not a bad thing. They and the rest of the transgressives have made a life of pushing up against what is acceptable. To those of you who wish to keep the separation of horror and politics separate, I ask you to think of it this way: When you think of a horror film coming out of Pakistan, what do you wonder? “Are they really allowed to do that there?” Politics. When you’re trying to get a copy of Cannibal Holocaust and you live in pre-1994 South Africa what’s your worry? “Will it be censored? Can I even get it into the country?” Politics.

When I heard that The Objective took place in Afghanistan and involved a mission lead by the CIA with the help of some Special Ops Reservists, I naturally had some reservations. How would writer/director Daniel Myrick (The Blair Witch) handle such a touchy subject. Truth be told, I came to the theater with a lot of assumptions about what I thought this film would do. I assumed it would be a firearm-heavy, US military (and militaries in general) can do no wrong stroke-fest that uses sci-fi as a mere canvas on which to paint the town red, white, and blue. With the exception of a slipped in line from the main character who says something to the effect of “I believe God has sent us to Afghanistan. Only most people don’t know it” I was happily mistaken.

Much to my surprise The Objective does the exact opposite. The film actually uses the current military engagements in Afghanistan as the canvas on which to paint the town in whatever colors correlate to one of the most interesting sci-fi concepts I have come across in a while. An early blurb of the film mentions that the team trek deep into the mountains of Afghanistan to investigate a weapon the world has never scene. Honestly, I’m still not sure I’ve seen it, and I’ve seen the movie. It’s that weird.

Even now, a day later, I am still wondering what it is I saw in the desert. Triangle of heat? Portals? Vaporizers? Who’s controlling them? This last question is the only one I would have liked to see explored more in the film. Not that I wanted a nicely packaged “who done it,” but what I would’ve liked was a bit more of an explicit relationship between the characters and the “force” haunting them. There were so many amazing places the “thing” could go in relation to the story, but the weapon they were hunting, did seemingly random nasty things to them. All very good, and quite attractive, I just wished the force itself had a little more depth.

On the whole, the characters had gravity (read: they changed throughout the film [writers take note]) and by the end I had actual concern for the main character, though initially I found him to be a complete tool. “Who is this person? He’s a bit too serious, but he seems to be a lot more ruthless than I previously thought.” This is where my mind went as I watched the movie. The settings were of course stunning, and the music was mesmerizing. I left the theater with a feeling that Daniel Myrick loves the subjects of this work. I felt like he had equal places in his heart for horror, sci-fi, the Middle East, the complexities of international crises, and the great unknown. And for that reason I can easily recommend this film.

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filmlyfe (13 years ago) Reply

Found a trailer for this.



Jeff (13 years ago) Reply

Rat Patrol meets Predator...sort of. This looks like fun.


UncleB (12 years ago) Reply

Whenever they stick a government spook in your outfit you know your soon to be screwed. Interesting movie though.

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