Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Film Review: The Objective (2008)

The Objective (Review)
United States/2008
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...can be repetitive, but at least the runtime is short..."

In Afghanistan, CIA Agent Keynes (Jonas Ball) teams up with a Special Forces unit to track an important Afghan cleric by the name of Moban.

The Objective follows this group as they search for Moban. Moban is no longer in his home, and the group find out that he has escaped into the mountains. With a new guide they recruit from Moban's home, they head into these mountains, which are said to be a deadzone. Much of the story really follows a simple formula: the group moves forward, they are either attacked or experience something bizarre, they camp out, and repeat three or four times. The ending of the film felt unsatisfying; the ending, although ominous and eerie, left many unanswered questions.

The Objective is a great concept with decent execution. First and foremost, this isn't a traditional horror film as some would assume. But, it does have some great tension and suspense, as well as a fairly-built ominous atmosphere. There are some great scenes in this film that are drenched in mysticism; the ominous headlights seen from afar, the first attack on the convoy, and so on. The formula can be repetitive, but at least the runtime is short enough to limit the pain. And, aside from the previously mentioned scenes, The Objective can often feel uneventful and bland. One moment it'll be moving at the speed of light, the next it'll be dragging slower than a snail. Disappointingly, the film fumbles for its ending with a very mediocre finale.

The acting is mostly good. Jonas Ball is good for most of his performance. There are a few moments where the acting feels very amateurish, but that's only when the roles become demanding, which isn't often. I like the music, it fit the setting and tone well -- the distortion of some of the sounds really helped create the eerie vibe. Some of the special effects looked clearly out of place, but they are fortunately rarely used. Director Daniel Myrick does well in creating the tension and suspense, as well as establishing the ominous atmosphere; however, Myrick fails in delivering a consistent and balanced film, and the ending was unfulfilling.

Overall, The Objective is a good, ambitious horror/thriller. The horror is far from mainstream, but that makes for a very atmospheric and suspenseful film, which I enjoy. However, The Objective suffers from an inconsistent pace, a lack of balance, and a poor finale. Definitely worth renting or streaming, though.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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