We were drawn to Origin Wars by its almost comically generic title which seemed to promise either knowing irony or Judge Dredd style campy fun. But neither of these is present in a film exactly as dull and generic as its name sounds.
It follows Sy (Kellan Lutz), a space colonist who ends up on a desolate planet where he has to rescue his daughter from some lizard people. The most surprising thing about this film is that it’s not a Netflix original, although I’d be surprised if its theatrical run lasted the full 99 minutes.
Its target audience is hard to discern between its serious overall tone and some of its wackier elements (the aforementioned lizard people). While certainly a B movie, the CGI is probably the best thing about it, managing to appear more middle market than the tacky look and feel of the rest of the production. Think 1997 Star Wars re-release CGI on Star Trek fan film sets.
It’s clear this is where the focus was rather than the sets, music, production design, costumes, location scouting, script, lighting or actors. Most of the cast are bored-looking Ryan Reynolds-eque men it’s painfully difficult to distinguish from one another.
The Windows Media Player direction doesn’t help bring to life the overly involved story. There are occasional action sequences which manage to look good, but often it’s difficult to tell what’s happening as characters fire weapons at unseen foes off-screen.
The lizard people look good, appearing to be a clever combination of puppetry and CGI. But unfortunately they are used sparingly which will disappoint everyone except David Icke.
The action gets more consistent and the plot marginally more interesting in the final act, resulting in a pleasantly surprising ending. But it’s certainly not worth sitting through the rest of this Origin Bore.