To start with, I’m more of a fantasy fan but the 40k universe is a little bigger and has the scope to do better things.
Right, so off the bat: Its not a bad film, but in the same breath, its not the greatest either. What it really had against it all film was the animation.
Animation: If this was released in 2001, it would have gotten a lot of praise for some of the effects used. The models were not that great. I thought the marines even looked ‘off’. From the first scene you can see that the movement is not done very well.
Photography: Some very nice scenes open up the planet they are exploring but it is often skewed by some bad animation reels.
Acting: the voices did well. Everyone suited the role. I did notice that there isn’t really much energy in them though which is more the directors fault for not getting through their position and how they should be responding. But otherwise pretty good.
Sound FX: Brilliant. The music here too is very 40k and Gothic as we come to expect. I really liked hearing the land speeder. In fact, the sound was the best thing about the film which is an achievement.
Script: Here it was both good and bad. You got a feeling that they were trying to appeal to new audiences but at the same time satisfy fanboys and not really achieving either. The Ultramarine’s are constantly chanting their moto’s and then making jokes about them with one liners, which Im not sure if thats what ‘the emperor’ really intended 😉
Well, it was ok by the end. Every time I felt I was settling on it another bad walk cycle would happen that just ruined it countless times. It was a bit of a sloppy first effort and for such a vast universe it ends up with a very narrow story line (Its written like a book).
I’d recommend the watch if you like 40k (or fantasy even) but be warned. GW aimed for mediocrity. Dont expect Dawn of War style cinematics.