Syfy has entered into a new kind of partnership with video game developer THQ. As part of the partnership, a new Syfy Original Movie inspired by the popular Red Faction video game series was developed. Red Faction: Origins aired Saturday, June 4th, 2011 on Syfy in the US and Space Channel in Canada.
If you are an avid video game fan, I know you are leary and with good cause. Past movie adaptations of video games have been disasterous to say the least. Let me say this, Red Faction: Origins is not meant to be a direct translation of the beloved video game franchise. Rather the landscape, social classes and political climate of the games were used to bring a new chapter to the small screen. In this respect, Red Faction: Origins delivers.
An incredibly talented cast, including Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, X-files), Brian J. Smith (Stargate: Universe), Danielle Nicolet (The Starter Wife), Tamzin Merchant (The Tudors), Kate Vernon (Battlestar Galactica) and Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwood), tells a compelling story that centers around a family torn apart while the world around them teeters on the brink of civil war.
The story takes place between the timeline of the video games Red Faction: Guerilla and the new title, Red Faction: Armageddon. Twenty-five years ago, Alec Mason (Robert Patrick) was a revolutionary leader who fought to realize Martian freedom. Twelve years prior to the current timeline, Alec Mason’s wife was killed and his daughter Lyra (Tamzin Merchant) was kidnapped, leaving him a broken man to raise his son alone. Jake Mason (Brian J. Smith) has grown into a man himself and is an officer in the Red Faction militia. Around him, the world is turning into a battleground as Colonists battle Marauders and threaten to detroy each other. When Jake has a chance encounter with a warrior he believes to be his sister whom he believed dead, his world is turned upside down. Can Jake Mason re-unite his family and stop a world at war?
The screenplay, penned by Andrew Kreisberg (Warehouse 13, Fringe) based on a story developed by THQ Director of Fiction Development, Paul Demeo (The Rocketeer, The Flash) and THQ Executive President, Core Games, Danny Bilson (The Sentinel, Human Target) is deeply emotional on all fronts and the cast does an exceptional job carrying the tension while injecting a bit of levity with a few humorous moments. Pacing is sometimes an issue and the movie does drag in places. A large part of that is no doubt due to the heavy subject matter and intensity of the plot.
Red Faction: Origins offers plenty of action too, with beautifully choreographed fight scenes. A bit of CGI lends itself nicely to the flight scenes and the locations were spot on. Who knew Bulgaria could double for Mars? Peabody Award winning composer Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead, Caprica, Battlestar Galactica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Eureka) helped enhance the story with compelling music and Michael Nankin (Caprica, Battlestar Gallactica, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) shows audiences why he is also a Peabody Award winning director, bringing all these pieces together.
As a special treat for fans that follow Brian J. Smith on Twitter, he replied to questions and comments live during the Syfy premier last night.
Red Faction: Armageddon is scheduled for realease on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 June 7, 2011. For more information on the Red Faction video games, visit the official website. In the meantime, check out the game release trailer.