Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Warhammer 40K Movie

Let me explain to you why I feel let down by the WH40K movie 'Ultramarines'.



The WH40K universe is big. Like, utterly huge. It’s bigger than the car park at Asda/Walmart, that’s how big it is. It’s so big, it would take longer than ten minutes to walk across it. A lot longer. The history is huge. HUGE! 40,000 years worth of HUGE. It’s an intricate story spread across thousands of light years and encompassing billions of souls – THAT’S MORE SOULS THAN THE COMBINED NUMBER OF SUPPORTERS OF EVERY FOOTBALL TEAM IN THE LONDON AREA! Can you even get your head around that? Mine hurts just thinking about it.

But primarily, it’s rich in design, atmosphere and sheer batshit insane gonzo baddassery. The imagery is something to behold and some of the artwork over the years has been incredible. This cyber-gothic-grimdark-religious-psychotic-conspiracy feel it has, that every dark place in the universe is out to get you and that the threat can only be answered with explosive bullets. It’s insane.

So what do we get from ‘Ultramarines’? Some pretty standard CGI animation that looks like it belongs on a Saturday morning cartoon. I’m wondering if the guys behind Dan Dare simply had free weekends. I watched a story about some Space Marines getting into shit on a planet I didn’t care about, shooting other Space Marines who were bad. I’ve been told that if I didn’t like it, then I’m not a true WH40K fan and that this was made for the fans.

It really was made for the fans, because only the fans would buy it. This does not bode well for a full-on blow-my-balls-off Space Marines movie. It’s almost as if the guys who own the IP are afraid to show the greater world, like there’s some kind of continuity that nobody else gives a shit about that cannot be intruded upon. You want to impress me? Tell me a story that affects the whole WH40K universe. Like a huge crusade. Or the collapse of the Imperium. Or the God Emperor waking up. DO SOMETHING BALLSY. Because I don’t give a crap about a Space Marine chapter that nobody really likes, anyway. God, even Space Wolves might have held my attention better.

I understand what went into the movie, the talent, money and man-hours, but WH40K, that huge insane conglomeration of panic, fear and imagery, deserved so much more than this.