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The Relic (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
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Do yourself a favor: pick up a copy of Alien, Ridley Scott's brilliant sci-fi/horror masterpiece, instead of wasting your time on The Relic. This patent rip-off of just about every other worthy horror and/or disaster flick certainly looks good in the packaging: a sturdy cast led by Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Oscar-winner Linda Hunt; a reliable director (Peter Hyams); and a creepy enough setting--Chicago's Museum of Natural History, where an anticipated exhibition about tribal artifacts called "Superstition" is about to debut. OK. So far, so good. But some of the pieces scheduled for show have crossed customs even though the freighter that has hauled them north is found adrift and empty--its crew the victims of a mysterious creature that is soon on the rampage in the museum.
The Relic relies on huge leaps of faith to engage the viewer, and finally offers nothing to elevate what could have been good fun--poking here and there at several different movie genres--to a higher level . Ultimately, the film suffers most from its own self-consciousness--it knows it's a carbon copy of better predecessors, and its awkwardness is apparent. The otherwise glossy production is so dimly lit that it's a struggle to tell what's going on, and everything in this tepid formula piece about genetic mutation gone awry is further marred by cheesy special effects. It's almost as if the movie is trying to run away from itself and hide. Try as they may, the cast is saddled with dull, wishy-washy characters who are predictably doomed or saved, depending on their place in the food chain. While the trick in any good sci-fi film is to make the monster as smart--or smarter--than its pursuers, The Relic relegates its mutated horror to less than brainy turf and the war between good and evil is never much of a war at all--just a noisy, bloody, borrowed mess. --Paula Nechak
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Top Customer Reviews
Basically, the plot is the same: people start turning up dead, horiffically slashed and decapitated, on the eve of the opening of the museum's new Superstition Exhibit. No one believes it's a monster, but of course, it is. Duh. Chaos ensues.
Let me take a moment to talk about the monster. In the novel, the monster, Mbwun, is terrifying. When it is finally seen, it is revealed to be quite manlike... which of course makes sense, given its origins. However, in the movie, the creature (whose name is changed to Kothoga, probably to aid in pronunciation again), while wicked awesome cool, just doesn't fit with the story. It'd be better off in an action movie, not a straight horror. In fact, the scariest parts of the movie occur before the monster is even seen (which is the thing with most of these movies).
Bottom line: as a movie, "The Relic" is quite entertaining. Compared to the novel, it falls short.
But that seems to describe "Relic," which is loosely based on a novel by Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child. It tries mightily to add the "Alien" monster-movie aesthetic to a more cerebral setting, but the sludgy pace and massive plot holes make it a chore to sit through -- and no matter how many gory body parts it flings at you, nothing really horrifies.
A ship arrives in Chicago with its crew horribly murdered, and Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta (Tom Sizemore) has no idea what has happened. The cargo -- crates from a roving anthropologist -- is sent to the Museum of Natural History for their "Superstition" exhibit, but Dr. Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller) finds nothing inside but a stone idol and leaves covered in a strange fungus.
Then a security guard is brutally murdered in a bizarre way -- he's decapitated, his brain is torn out and his hypothalamus goes missing. D'Agosta immediately shuts down the museum and begins searching for the killer, but Green begins to suspect that something more bizarre is afoot. But even if they can figure out what the killer is, they may not be able to stop it.
Just a warning: fans of Preston and Child's thriller series will be hugely disappointed in "Relic." The unique lead character has been completely cut out of the story -- imagine an adaptation of "Lord of the Rings" without Frodo Baggins -- and the plot is transformed into a generic monster movie with generic characters. It feels sort of like "Alien," except without the feeling of being trapped (since they can easily leave the museum) or the build-up of tension and horror.Read more ›
This is a pretty spiffy well done formula movie. As with many contemporary movies they completely ignore the book and add all the standard clich's. We have the ruthless rivalry, missing scientists, and mysterious crates. Naturally no one does what they are supposed to do and you start rooting for the, lets just call it a, relic.
High: The late great Stan Winston might have just peaked his stellar career with Kothoga. Sure, it's not the humanoid from the book, but, once you see it, you won't care. A monster movie can get away with not being a true horror movie if the monster is cool enough to carry the show on its spiny back, and Kothoga could carry a franchise, right up there with Predator, Alien, and the Moorwen from "Outlander." (Sticking to my promise to mention only the top and bottom, I will belay my rant about dim lighting and the mind-bogglingly common belief that audiences never actually want to see their monsters. All I'm going to say at this point is watch South Korea's excellent "The Host," and you'll see the difference ... in broad daylight, in the first ten minutes!)
Low: We have the beautiful Penelope Ann Miller and the world's coolest monster together in the same movie. So whose idea was it to put a blood red mockery of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" on the box and call it cover art? Seriously, people, this is a genuine B movie with endless pros and cons, and the decision of whether or not to buy it literally came down to the cover for me. I hated it so much, I passed on the purchase. With a teen-slasher cover like that, I would expect the title to be something like "Sleepover Slaughter 3: Burnt Popcorn Aftermath." Of course, Blue-Ray has an improvement with its "chomping fangs" cover, and the German version has an appropriately chilling picture of the unwelcoming museum, but, for those of us with DVD players who only speak English, we're stuck with screaming boy ... or girl. I can't even tell which it is at this point.
Most recent customer reviews
OK monster movie, nothing too original, OK special effects. Penelope Ann Miller gives it the old college try as a biologist working in a museum. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Info
it's a interesting horror movie that i have as vhs and i wanted it on dvd and it's got some good actor and a good story.Published 9 months ago by Eric Woodall
saw this when it came out looked for it forever
was surprised to see a bluray bought it
the picture is great the film is fun and
would recommend it to anyone
j'ai recu le produit en quelques jours et j'en suis satisfait le film etait en excellent etat tout etait okPublished on April 4 2013 by andre fillion
The Relic seems to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it movies about which I always seem to be sitting on the fence. Read morePublished on June 11 2008 by Jenny
I have seen the bad reviews and I think they are missing the point. This is a B monster movie and they are comparing it to Aliens? Read morePublished on May 10 2004 by Aebares05
If you really want a good story, buy the book. There is so much more to the story than what the movie showed. Read morePublished on April 5 2004
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