Film Review: ‘The Black Hole’ (2006)

(re-post from an older version of my blog)

Directed by Tibor Takács and written by David Goodin; staring Kristy Swanson, Judd Nelson and David Selby.

“No force from this world can stop it.

It’s 2 AM in St Louis when a routine scientific experiment goes terribly wrong and an explosion shakes the city. A scientific team investigates, clashing with an intergalactic, voltage-devouring creature that vaporises them.

By 7 AM a chain of earthquakes is tearing the city apart while a massive swirling black hole is consuming the remains. The alien is devouring every source of electricity it finds and destroying every human who blocks its way. Mass chaos rules at St. Louis is being evacuated. Only a few people, scientist Eric Bryce, his assistant Shannon and General Ryker comprehend the mortal danger.

By midnight, the Pentagon initiates a nuclear attack against the black hole. Bryce has only one hour to finda solution to obliterate the alien and the colossal black hole before mankind is annihilated.”

This is the type of typical TV movie where the entire mood is summed up within the first 1minute with funky music and one of those pieces of texts tells you the entire plot, probably so you can make up your mind if you want to spend 87 minutes of your life.

(”In July of 1999, a panel of nuclear physicists discussed the possibility hat a heavy ion collider experiment could result in the formation of a black hole. After an extended debate, the panel decided that such a scenario was not just highly unlikely, but impossible. They were wrong.”)

It’s one of those “never trust scientists, they’re going to screw us all!” type films.

The action kicks off quickly with an explosion at the research lab where three scientists head off to explore the damage (looking fetching in their radiation suites)’. They run into a black hole (remember the first 1minute of the film told us this was going to happen?) which growls a few times before turning into a magnet.

A giant bug like magnetically charged electricity alien monster appears, and what must have been very expensive special effects for a TV movie zaps one of the scientists before the other is pulled into the black hole. Keeping with the quick moving action, the army is quickly mobilised and seems to have the place in lock down as the third scientist hides in the lavatory trying to call the lead scientist. We get a lovely hint that not only are further sinister things about to happen but that it’s serious because the army are in sinister black clothing.

Also in typical fashion, it’s the government who have condemned us all (they admit it, which is a change).

The genius scientist with the trouble home life who was kicked off the project because of their trouble home life is going to be the ultimate saviour of humanity. It’s a race against time! Or possibly a race for the actors to complete their stilted, cliche, badly written dialogue before someone notices they’ve signed on to do this film.

The acting borders on the dramatic, melodramatic and absurd. The plot will hurt your head, and leave you going “huh?”, if you have a background in science you may find yourself screaming at the screen.

There are no redeeming features in this film…although the moment when the bad-ass general with a heart tries to throw a chair at the electricity monster after they’d started shooting at the electricity-bug and had their tomato ketchup splattered all over the wall is particularly laughable. Oh and the guy who was knocked unconscious by a falling wall tile.

The special effects are rather fun, I especially liked the bit when the black hole broke out of the lab and started to pull things in. Very funky.

I wish I could say “watch it, it’s a good laugh!” but sadly it’s just poor. There were several moments when I was tempted to press STOP and watch something else, but stuck with it since I didn’t really have anything better to do and 87 minutes weren’t going to hurt me.

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