Dean Cain as General Murran
Thomas Ian Griffith as Evans
Justin Whalin as Sutherland
Jodi Bianca Wise as Abel
Trae Thomas as Stoner
Michelle Krusiec as Layton
Stephen Ramsey as Varden
Denis Sharp as The Judge
Lisa Foster as Systems Operator
Violeta Markovska as Deanna
Maria Kancheva as Chapman
Wide Screen (1:33:1)
Running Time: 98 Mins.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
In the distant future, two human colonies of Brecca and Obsidian are established on a distant planet. The two civilizations have been at war for 100 years. With only a precious few people left on either side, the Breccans fight using remnants of highly advanced technology. “Witches” use computers to materialize weapons out of thin air for battle. They are paired up with soldiers who face off in the field against the Obsidians.
The leader of the Breccan army (Cain) has recently uncovered an advanced piece of technology that can wipe out the computers of the Obsidians. He leads a small band of soldiers and witches into the heart of the Obsidian’s city to deliver the weapon. They must trek over harsh terrain with the help of a battle-hardened old soldier in order to meet their objective. However, a traitor in their midst threatens to destroy them all.
“Final Encounter” is rated R for language and violence.
This movie was originally released in 2000 as a straight to video film called “For The Cause”. It has been repackaged again in 2002 as “Final Encounter”. Why, I don’t know. “Straight to video” is usually a sign that the film sucks. In this case, that’s a correct assumption.
This movie had a lot of potential. I love sci-fi and I recognized some elements of the plot could provide cool payoffs. However, that never happened. The main problem is that nothing is ever explained. The creators assume that you’ll pick up everything along the way, but they never offer you enough clues to fully understand what’s going on. From the very beginning, you’re lost. You never understand why this battle is going on for so long. You never understand what’s going on with the witches or how they are doing what they are doing. You never understand why they are paired with soldiers. In fact, they never explain that they are on an alien planet. You have to pick that up from the back cover of the DVD.
Besides the confusion, it’s filled with just plain dumb elements. In one scene Justin Whalin is shown about to charge into battle. In the next scene he is shown wearing camouflage makeup while nobody else around him is. Huh? Then he’s shown leading a group of people into battle .by running across an open field in broad daylight wearing snow camouflage while there’s no snow. Why didn’t he just have a target on his chest? None of the battle scenes get better from there. Later on when they run out of ammo the characters yell at the top of their lungs, “I’M OUT!!!”. Is it good military strategy to let your enemy know you’re out of bullets? One rather humorous scene comes when the Obsidians are revealed. They are shown to be humans ..with really bushy black eyebrows. Huh?
Dean Cain is totally miscast as the kick-butt war-hardened leader of the colony military. He’s way too soft-spoken and a pretty boy to pull off his dark role. Thomas Ian Griffith tries way too hard to be Han Solo in the movie and he pulls out every “war is hell” cliché in the book before the end of the movie. The rest of the cast is rather lame as well, with one of the characters even named “Stoner”. Huh?
The movie is so desperate to be taken seriously that they seem to throw in profanity as a way to legitimize it or something. “F**k” is repeated so often that you’d think they were paid by the number of times they said it. It’s also the only profanity they utter. Huh?
The special effects are at times imaginative. The designs of some of the witches’ constructs are pretty cool. However, they’re on the caliber of what you see in fan films on the internet these days, so this doesn’t make them particularly noteworthy. They don’t make the movie any more worth watching either.
There are no extras on this DVD.
The Bottom Line:
This is a really bad film. Avoid it if you can.