Film Review – Origin Wars (2016)

Actor Daniel Macpherson reunites with his Infi colleague, writer-director Shane Abbess, in Origin Wars (internationally titled Science Fiction Volume 1: The Osiris Child). What is once again evident is that Abbess is one of the most exciting filmmakers in contemporary sci-fi – capturing both a love for the genre and a progressive approach to its future.

Abbess and co-writer Brian Cachia craft a tale that follows Kane (Macpherson), a lieutenant working for shady military contractor called EXOR, who comes into contact with former convict Sy (Kellan Lutz). The pair are thrust into a battle to save Kane’s daughter from EXOR’s destructive plans and the genetic experiments they have created that roam the barren earth.

Crafted with a confident aesthetic, Origin Wars is a visually impressive piece that manages to create a slick looking vision of the future. Tensely edited action set pieces and convincing CGI creations and sets give the film a visual clout that helps it stand up against much of the big screen sci-fi epics that we have seen in recent years. This helps Origin Wars transport us to this futuristic world and envelop us in Cachia and Abbess’ narrative.

There are echoes of familiarity in many of Origin Wars‘ narrative elements – with many of the barren desert sets and action pieces feeling reminiscent of classics like Mad Max. Yet Origin Wars manages to pair these familiar tropes with fresher narrative angles – such as Kane’s hunt for his daughter. This core narrative strand paired with EXOR’s developing of a deadly virus which quickly goes out of control (turning a prison full of convicts into vicious monsters), makes for a fun pairing. What follows is a mash-up of action set pieces confidently performed by Macpherson and Lutz.

Macpherson proves a magnetic lead – equally confident in the action sequences as he is in the weightier dramatic moments. Lutz, a genre regular, brings a welcome gusto to the proceedings as escaped prisoner Sy.

Origin Wars is an effective, independent sci-fi that proves that you don’t necessarily have to go to the cinema to see well-crafted and action-packed new additions to the genre.

sci-fi, drama |Australia, 2016 | 15 | 24th July 2017 (UK)| Lionsgate Home Entertainment | Dir.Shane Abbess | Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Luke Ford, Rachel Griffiths | Buy:[DVD]