The Colony Review
“Winter Is Here”
December 10th, 2013
In the not too distant future the earth is covered in ice and snow of a new ice age. What is left of the human race gather together in underground colonies, harvesting seeds for crops, and genetically engineering livestock for food. The world these few survivors life in is a harsh one where the human races numbers are dwindling toward extinction and the common cold is a death sentence. The situation in Colony 7 is reaching a breaking point when they receive a distress signal from Colony 5 Briggs makes a decision to investigate with the aid of Sam, and Graydon. On their journey to Colony 5 and back they see horrors, and reach a discovery that might change the world.
The plot of The Colony is nothing original as it is a mash up of other films and ideas from The Day After Tomorrow, and even The Dawn of the Dead, yet the first two thirds of the film really works well as we see how life works in Colony 7. The conflict between two former soldiers and friends in Briggs (Laurence Fishburne), and Mason (Bill Paxton) who feels that the people infected with the cold virus shouldn't be given a choice, but instead just put to death. Then there are the interesting modern plot details that the film uses like The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, what people will do to survive when their starving and weather control machines or weather modification, which is already being done by cloud seeding for crops, but The Colony's writers take it to the next level. I wish director Jeff Renfroe, and the writers could have explored the colony life, and the giant weather modification machines that are hinted at being the cause of the ice age, but instead of focusing on those ideas Renfroe and his writers decided to go full zombie apocalypse's on the viewer. Sure they were cannibals not zombies, which was an interesting idea in an ice age where available food is few and far between, but the way Renfroe used these cannibals took away from the film, and the story. Maybe the introduction and use of cannibals could have worked if the running time of the film was longer instead of the short running time of ninety minutes.
The Canadian production of The Colony by RLJ Entertainment is really well polished, and rendered that includes the special effects from the giant weather machines to the frozen wasteland that is earth all of it looks believable, and well done. The acting was also well done as well with Laurence Fishburne giving a solid performance as does Bill Paxton in his conflicted role. Kevin Zegers is the star of The Colony as Sam who gives a strong performance in the starring role.
Ultimately with The Colony the viewer is left with what could have been had the film been longer or director Jeff Renfroe, and the writers decided to focus more on the science of weather modification, the characters, the colony, and human survival. Still The Colony is a decent sci-fi post-apocalyptic film with some interesting ideas that are never fully realized on film along with pretty good action, good acting/characters, and pretty decent effects that makes, and makes The Colony a film that should be given a chance.