Wastelander, Great Potential To Be A More Than Average Film
Wastelander film details
Release date: February 20th, 2018
DVD March 13th, 2018
Release format: digital/DVD
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Running time 90 mins
In a post-apocalyptic landscape, an ex-soldier wanders in search of his lost home and family. He meets an odd collection of survivors including cybernetic humans who convince him to lead them through the wasteland while searching for the legendary safe haven, Eden. But when a band of pillaging raiders called The Scourge hunt them – they must fight to survive in this cruel dystopia.
Wastelander is an indie horror sci-fi feature from director Angelo Lopes. Inspired by films such as Mad Max (1979) and The Bad Batch (2016), Wastelander will have its U.S. digital release on Feb. 20th. In the film, an ex-soldier helps survivors in a desolate, future world. They attempt to reach Eden as The Scourge, a group of bandits, hound their every move.
Wastelander takes us on a journey into a post-apocalyptic landscape. Wastelanders allure is strongly based on its ability to deliver a Mad Max-esque ambience. In the film we follow an ex-soldier Rhyous; portrayed by Brendan Guy Murphy, who is wandering the wastes in his search of Eden, the focus of the film’s plot. As much as I enjoyed Angelo Lopes’ Sci-Fi production I did find myself having a few qualms.
Wastelander stumbled across the wastes indeed. Although not a terrible film by any means Wastelander definitely does struggle. At first glance it is easy to see the influence the Mad Max films had over Lopes, this is blatantly obvious with the style of clothes, chosen locations and overall feel of the film. This isn’t a bad thing but when it comes to originality Wastelander has unfortunately suffered.
A big issue in the film was the lack of backstory with the characters and how the world became a dystopian universe. Granted snippets are shown throughout the film which are there to provide us with a bit of back story to our main protagonist but unfortunately, it was not enough and I found myself rather confused at certain points. For example, nearing end of the film when we are finally introduced to ‘Eden’ I found that none of my questions were resolved and I had a few more.
However, not everything in Lopes film was bad. The chosen cast was decent although some performances were questionable. In particular, I struggled to connect with the character of Neve, a brawny brunette (Carol Cardenas) a young woman who is strong-willed and feisty. Sadly Cardenas’ portrayal of this character fell tepid as the film progressed and her character became irrelevant to the film. Unfortunately for Cardenas’ her co-stars drowned out her performance, leaving her biggest draw be her partially exposed cleavage.
It was the lead role of the Wastelander himself though; Rhyous, played by Brendan Guy Murphy who gave the best lead performance. Strong and believable Murphy’s character was interesting to follow. Jon Proudstar who played Solek did a fantastic job of adding personality to his character. David Morden, Sian Vilaire, and Aaron Stielstra also did a great job of breathing life into their roles.
The plot to the film was enjoyable although there is definitely room for improvement. Wastelander had great potential to be a more than average film if the plot had been elaborated on a little more carefully.
I can appreciate Angelo Lopes’ contribution to the Sci-Fi genre. It was a fun experience with very good special effects. I was not disappointed by the violence, there was plenty of realistic blood and plenty of action. The film did not fall lax from lack of action it just needed a little extra TLC to have made an average rehashed plot slightly more unique. Although very amateurish the highlights of the film saves it from being a complete letdown.