'Stonehenge Apocalypse' Review: Something's Rotten in Stonehenge
This week I'm reviewing the SyFy original movie Stonehenge Apocalypse, starring Misha Collins, best known as Castiel from Supernatural, as a paranormal themed radio host intent on learning the truth about the world. His character believes that the astronauts who went to the moon found a robot head and covered it up. It also has Torri Higginson, or Doctor Weir for you Stargate Atlantis fans. As with every sci-fi movie, these two B listers are the only familiar faces of the whole film. I can't remember why I selected this film when we were dividing up the disaster movies, but I did, probably thinking I would be drinking during my viewing.
The plot of the film centers around is Jacob, Misha Collins, traveling to London to visit Stonehenge after reports of the stones moving flood his conspiracy-centered radio show. At the same time, Jacob's similarly nutty colleague Joseph has been working on an archaeological dig in Maine. He discovers a tomb covered in hieroglyphs and places a key like object on the tomb, releasing a wave of energy. It turns out that the stones didn't just move, but began releasing electromagnetic energy in to the earth and melted a group of tourists. As the film progresses, we learn that this energy is having effects on the rest of the world, creating volcanoes in Mexico and Indonesia. The scientists begin to hypothesize that the energy of Stonehenge is capable of altering the molecular make up of the Earth, and that the stones may also be responsible for creating the basic structure of life on Earth. Of course, the military's go to plan is to set explosives on the monument and try to blow it up, entertaining the idea of nuking the thing when the first attempt fails. Meanwhile the archeologists are looking for some "chamber of the sun" and uncovering a dead body under ground. Eventually it comes down to the old stand by crunch time decision between the military wanting to nuke the site and the scientists wanting to try a simple, perfectly logical strategy that in no way prevents the use of nuclear weapons should the attempt fail.
As to the quality of the film in general, it is mediocre at best. Misha Collins delivers a steady, dependable performance without providing anything really memorable. Torri Higginson portrays her operational supervisor scientist the same way that everyone plays the same character in all sci-fi movies. The writing is mostly bearable, with a few lines that are actually interesting, and a few clichés that are slightly frustrating to see in modern cinema. The plot is based off of established paranoid scientific mumbo jumbo you can find on the History Channel on Ancient Aliens. The parallel story lines of the archaeologists and the scientists hardly connect at all, bridged only by a telephone call between Joseph and Jacob early in the movie and fifty minutes in, when it turns out that the archeologist wants to protect only a few select people from the terraforming of the earth in order to make create a new society. The soundtrack is the typical dramatic score created for every SyFy. The editing is your standard, made for TV fare, with fade to blacks in the middle of "tense" scenes where the commercials are supposed to go.
All in all, I'd say Stonehenge Apocalypse is better then I expected, though that isn't saying much. It isn't the depressingly poorly made sludge I've come to expect from the once respectable SyFy channel, but it is far from anything special, and the money it took to produce could have gone toward a far less over the top film, with far more enjoyable production values.
Final Say: Skip It