Film Review: Mega Fault

Mega Fault has a strange distinction for being probably the last performance of a fine actress before her untimely death. With that in mind however, this low budget disaster flick isn’t the best thing since sliced bread although during its 86 minute turn around I was actually quite entertained!

The Premise

A blast master busy “blowing up mountains” accidently causes a previously unknown fault across America to rupture and fall apart causing cracks to scatter across the country.

The Disasters Faced

Earthquakes, giant cracks (easy now!), lots of pyrotechnical explosions, helicopter frenzies and melting people.

The Execution

For what is obviously a low budget movie, Mega Fault refuses to bow down and be a chit-chat film and tries its best to be full action from start to finish. Yes, the script is pretty awful but thankfully there’s not too much of it. This combined with a generally decent standard of acting (and not too much over acting) makes it much easier to forgive Mega Fault’s shortcomings and concentrate on its strengths.

Of its strengths, the pacing is its best attribute. It starts off with the emergence of the disaster and as the cracks continue to spread, mini set pieces keep the action bobbing along as our main characters weave through various bits of chaos. The characters themselves are cardboard cut outs but then nothing is done to flesh them out and there’s no real inner conflict. This makes for a refreshingly simple disaster movie focuses purely on the disaster only, not some overblown love story.

The Effects

Explosions fly left, right and centre (although always far away from the main action) and while there’s a fair share of CGI involved too, it’s always obscured or almost painted on in a blur so it doesn’t look garish at all. The exception to this is the cracking of the Earth which I have to say looks very impressive for a non-blockbuster film. The actual cinematography is well done too and always gives a feel that the movie is on a much bigger production scale than it really is.

Why It’s Worth Watching

It’s pure popcorn. The science makes no sense. Brittany Murphy taking charge of a whole military operation by accident is just helerious watching such a small lady boss around big beefy generals. I love the way how every new scene has a freeze frame of its location and time now to the minute and it’s always 8.44am because if it’s 8.45 that would be far too unrealistic and unscientific. It replaces all the staring at laptop scenes with staring at a holographic screen instead (complete with “wows” as it turns on). It has good irony, good death sequences and an overall silliness but still comes across like it wants to be taken completely seriously.

Best Death

The only real main character that dies is “Boomer” and he dies twice in the exact same way! Cue what had been a very restrained performance from Brittany to start screaming “Noooo Boooomerrrrr!!!!” while dangling from a safety rope.
(It not the best death, but that got saved for the weirdest moment award!)

Favourite Character

I really struggled as although our main duo have a very short character arc I was still quite indifferent to them. I’ll plump for Justin Hartley for plays Dan, Murphy’s husband because not only does he get tossed aside by his wife and puts up with it when the Earthquake happens, he somehow doesn’t throw his daughter down one of the cracks after saying for the millionth time “I wanna go home”. Now there’s courage!

Weirdest Moment

Towards the climax the Earth’s crust starts to displace and melt causing a very sadist scene in which several people burst into flames and sink to the floor quickly, presumably melting away! Lovely stuff!

Conclusion

I throughly enjoyed Mega Fault. It’s one of the best low budget disaster movies I’ve seen in a long time. It cuts out the shmucky plot, the love triangles and the padding and gives us 90 minutes of low budget thrils and spills. As a result, it gives decent bang for its buck and doesn’t feel quite so out of place compared to its big screen rivals. At its best, you can disengage your brain and enjoy and at its worst you can laugh at its silly science.

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