This has got to be the first Syfy original movie I’ve seen that I didn’t know was a Syfy original when I started it. It’s pretty easy to figure out once it starts; you just have to be able to spot the trademark characteristics. First, a ridiculously impossible premise. From megasharks to icequakes, Syfy originals have run the gambit of absurdity. Collision Earth is based around the idea that a magnetic wave from the sun has pushed the planet Mercury out of orbit towards Earth. Bravo.
Next, once you’ve established the premise, you have to spend large quantities of the movie explaining why the premise is scientifically plausible. Furthermore, you have to fail miserably. Mercury being hurdled at Earth is so comically outside the realm of possibility that any explanation for why it could be possible only calls glaring attention to the fact that this story cannot be taken seriously.
The final piece of the Syfy original movie puzzle is to assemble a cast of people you almost recognize. Collision Earth utilizes the acting talents of Diane Farr (CBS’s Numbers) and Andrew Airlie (AMC’s The Killing), but the lead role is filled by Kirk Acevedo (Fox’s Fringe). Acevedo plays Dr. Preston, a scientific pariah, who developed a means of deflecting giant meteors before they could destroy Earth. Not surprisingly, it’s Preston’s Project 7 that is employed to try to divert Mercury before it can hit, but what’s unclear is how that could possibly work. Accepting the idea that the little satellite could produce enough energy to move an entire planet, they spend a lot of time in the film trying to convince the audience that Mercury has been magnetized and that’s why it’s being drawn to the earth. Simply changing its course doesn’t change this idea. But like I said, the implausible is second nature to these films, and any audience willing to suspend their disbelief will get what they deserve.
Acevedo’s performance is really weak here for a leading man. He spends most of the movie seeming to do a bad Nicholas Cage impersonation. He’s melodramatic, emotionless, and incapable of expressing himself in anything other than mumbling noises that vaguely sound like words.
Diane Farr is probably the best part of the film. She demonstrates that this film is beneath her talents by managing to make all of her scenes interesting even though she’s alone for most of them. I never enjoyed Numbers and I barely noticed Farr on that series, but put a mediocre actress in a Syfy original and suddenly she’s the only thing keeping you sane.
No special features. Available on Blu-ray and DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on December 11.