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In the year 2125, Alec Mason led the Martian Colonies to freedom in the hit action game Red Faction: Guerrilla. Now, Syfy and THQ are teaming up to continue the saga of conflict on Mars 25 years later in an all-new Original Movie, Red Faction: Origins. Stargate Universe's Brian J. Smith stars as Jake Mason, son of revolutionary hero Alec Mason (Terminator 2's Robert Patrick) and a Red Faction ranger. Fighting to preserve Martian freedom, Jake encounters a powerful new enemy in a dangerous and mysterious group led by the charismatic Adam Hale (Torchwood's Gareth David-Lloyd) and holding secrets that will rock the Mason clan. Jake must now battle the relentless regime and somehow reunite a family torn apart by war. Red Faction: Origins also stars Battlestar Galactica's Kate Vernon and The Tudors' Tamzin Merchant, and will feature music from Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica).

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Red Faction: Origins movie full length review - First Decent Sy Fy Movie in YEARS

I've never played the video game, nor have I ever heard of it (other than the recent TV ads for its latest release) so I can't write much about how authentic or faithful it is to its roots. This, in a sense, is a good thing, since a movie should be able to stand on its own.

'Red Faction: Origins' clearly proves two things. The first is that you don't need gazillions of dollars to make a halfway decent movie. Sure, it will certainly not be an Oscar contender, and it uses plenty of (sometimes soap-operaish) clichés and plot twists - some of which you will likely see miles ahead - but compared to the usual idiotic mess that Sy Fy scrapes up from the bottom of their production barrel, this is actually pretty good! It has got a fairly interesting and cohesive story that doesn't violate the basic rules of logic, it has engaging actors/characters, serviceable (if rather low-budget) sets and props, and SFX that range from low- to medium-TV quality. Brian J. Smith is proving himself again to be a reliable performer, Danielle Nicolet is fairly good, and there is a whole host of well- and semi-well-known actors who offer up (mostly) solid work - though the characters as written don't necessarily offer much to work with.

The other thing this movie proves is that Sy Fy is obviously capable of producing SF B-movies of reasonable quality - which means all the crud they have been pushing unto the long-suffering fans for nearly a decade is not by accident; they must be doing them on purpose. And this thought, frankly, is both depressing and maddening.

If you are an SF fan, 'Red Faction: Origins' is well worth watching. Again, not in the same class as 'Dune' or some other, more polished efforts, and SyFy sure as heck didn't invest more money in it than the absolute minimum they could get away with, but it is solid Sunday afternoon/evening entertainment. In short: the first SyFy movie in a decade or so that didn't send me into screaming fit of rage over SyFy Channel's industrialized incompetence.