A disaster movie about a comet causing havoc starring Dennis Hopper?! How did no one know about this film? Well… maybe its because its a bit…rubbish. Well it’s not that its rubbish, its just it tries far too hard to be a jack of all trades and ends up being a master of none and skips all the big issues it could tackle by descending into the silly one liner territory.
Released : 1999
Runtime : 94 minutes
Tycus is a comet that everyone bar one man has said will never cause us a problem is actually going to crash into the moon and thus send various chunks of it down to Earth effectively ruining our way of life forever. However the rather rich man has decided to build a modern day Noahs Ark to house a select few people in but not everyone is happy with the rules.
The Disasters Faces
Comets, moon shards, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, a dodgy lift and everyone’s general greediness!
Tycus starts with the films ending, although you don’t actually know it is yet and in effect displays all its special effects shots in the first 10 minutes. After that you are introduced the most unloving married couple possibly paired in recent memory, the husband of which is a secret agent newspaper journalist who’s been a soldier… and that’s where it starts to get silly! The film bills itself as a disaster movie however the very brief disaster montages (which don’t look too bad for a low budget film) are blotted out for what turns more into an unfocused one soldier against all mission. Then when it flicks back to a race against time disaster movie the film ends up feeling very bitty and clumsy.
The acting varies on a vast scale. Dennis Hopper does the best he can with the script he’s got while our lead man Peter Onorati can’t quite balance serious and comical but that’s not down to his acting abilities, its the god awful script! Plot holes and general silliness in scene set ups make for things to feel even worse too.
Miniatures are used to good effect in the film and although some of the special effects look quite dated now, they are actually better than a lot of the sheer awfulness some of the TV disaster movies try to put out these days. It also has to be said I was quite impressed at the varied stunts that took place and the large scale sets that were used for what appears to be a low budget release. [Ed: It’s since been brought to my attention that the film uses scenes from other films such as Dante’s Peak and Air America. Naughty!!]
Why It’s Worth Watching
Well something kept me until the movies end (which was a bit strange I must say) and I think its the combination of seeing if anything would actually happen, to see how bad the one liners would get and to see how heavy handed the script writers would deal with the whole “who gets to live and die” overtone of the movie. As a result, they actually completely ignore it and stay with a bitching session for the entire second half of the movie. It’s quite good then for being a mindless popcorn flick if you like to pick holes in the film after!
Slim pickings for this movie as there’s no real character development at all but the plane flying commander (Blake Scott) is probably the best character in the movie as the stereotypical crazed nutcase that every disaster movie must have.
I could see it coming from a mile off but the only death that made any sense at all was Dennis Hoppers as if to hammer home the whole “help as many as you can” motto that’s bashed over your head constantly.
Peter Onorati has this uncanny attempt to channel Stallone in many scenes. A shot for every time he shoots and misses.
Some of the awful one liners are so clumsy they jar you but the whole preachy ending with a couple of people sat in a feild reading the film out of a story book as if its some fable was really quite random and therefore wins the award!
Tycus is a silly, unfocused melodrama between two men who both spend the entire film screwing each other over to justify their own means and end up being both hypocritical and self centred This combined with some really bad plot holes, semi shoddy effects and a vast range of acting abilities (and inserted comedy moments?!?) make for a film that is just as good to watch on its bad merits as it is trying to take it on face value. Best served with a beer and some popcorn!
Surprised the review didn’t mention all the stolen scenes from other big budget movies, one glaring example being the plane from Air America ( it says Air America on the plane!) and the water buffalos on the runway are from that movie too. (You don’t see many of them in SoCal.) Most of the disaster events are scenes from Dante’s Peak, the Pearce Brosnan film.
Thanks for this Bhava – I haven’t seen Air America so had missed that, but did notice the Dante’s Peak stuff! I’ll update the review to reflect this.