• Review: Day of Reckoning (2016)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Mon Oct 17 19:39:45 2016
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    **1/2 (out of ****)

    The jolly if undernourished apocalyptic actioner "Day of Reckoning"
    (presented by the SyFy Channel) takes as its inspiration that catchy quote
    from Isaiah 2:12, "For the lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning
    against everyone who is proud and lofty, and against everyone who is lifted
    up, that he may be abased."
    That prophetic passage bodes particularly poorly for the likes of
    proud Tyler (Jay Jay "I heard you the first time" Warren), his lofty mom
    Laura (Heather McComb), and his estranged, lifted-up dad David (Jackson
    Hurst), all of whom wind up facing some kind of significant abasement as
    the good book foretold.
    Fifteen years ago some military installation somewhere drilled some
    place it shouldn't have and unleashed a legion of winged demons from the earth's bowels. These creatures then feasted on feckless humans for 24
    hours straight.
    That's right: an entire Day. Of Reckoning.
    A lunar eclipse now heralds a repeat performance of the nasty event,
    yet mankind is somehow as ill-prepared second time around despite having 1) formed a new Department of Homeland Security (the cleverly titled DHS); 2) circled the globe with military facilities at all deep-core fissures known
    as "gates"; and 3) learned that these terrestrial, subterranean creatures
    can be killed with either salt or cold (no explanation given).
    Running and hiding, then running some more, still appears to be man's
    best defense.
    "Day of Reckoning" is an energetic, low-budget creature feature
    featuring minor stars easily confused for slightly bigger ones--the Paul
    Rudd type (a considerably less amusing Hurst), the Rutger Hauer type
    (Raymond J. Barry as a bunkered uncle), the Saoirse Ronan type (Hana Hayes plays Tyler's girlfriend, Maddy). The creature effects, despite the film's five-and-dime store budget, offer a creative array of harpies, angry crows, horned quadrupeds, skeletal families, plus one massive, uncouth centipede.
    A little attention to detail in the close-up work would have worked wonders.
    They could have paid closer attention to screenwriter Greg Gieras'
    first draft also. "It's *too* quiet." Really? And during Laura's somber explanation of the first Day of Reckoning (during which, apparently, hubby David came up short in the hero department, hence the friction), we learn "We're not sure where these things come from. Nobody knows why they're
    here or what they want. We call them demons but that's just one of many theories." Joel Novoa directs.

    David N. Butterworth

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