Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harrington, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell
After Christophe Gans’s artistic prowess loomed assuredly over 2006’s initial adaptation of the popular video game, this sequel is content to replace practical effects with characterless technological frippery, and pack oodles of badly-written, baffling back-story onto an already obscurely-plotted series. Discussion of spirituality is shelved for a minor romance, a vague kidnap plot, and mostly worthless attempts at cheap thrills, while Mitchell and Bean are consigned to bit-parts around the vapid figures of Clemens and Harrington. Somewhere along the way the unique qualities of this grand horror-of-the-unknown have been muddied and lost, either by rashly conceiving of a follow-up designed to make a quick buck at the box-office, or by the limitations of the material itself. I’m inclined to go with the former.