Waynesville Mail

A Flawed but Ambitious Space Action Film



Genre: Sci-Fi
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 20m
Director(s): Andrew Balek, Joe Bland
Writer(s): Joe Bland, Cyrus Cheek
Cast: Greg Kriek, Sean Kanan, Daniel Roebuck, Louise Barnes, Jamie Bernadette, Jon Provost, Allie Ayers, Jennifer Willis, B.A. Tobin, Mike Ferguson, Jeremy John Wells
Where To Watch: On UK digital platforms April 17, 2023

RAVING REVIEW: Get ready for a blast-off?.. with COLONIALS, a chaotic Sci-Fi film from the directorial duo of Andrew Balek and Joe Bland. The story follows Martian settlers struggling against the galaxy's impending doom from the brink of human destruction. In short, this would make a 90s Sci-Fi Channel original film blush. Reel 2 Reel Films digital UK premiere on April 17, 2023.

Greg Kriek portrays Silas, a Martian explorer sent to investigate the Earth in the distant future. The mission turns hazardous when Silas and his crew face the Exiles, a powerful and technologically superior civilization from the Moon. Stranded on Earth after losing his memory and having his spacecraft destroyed, Silas must piece together his identity and purpose while evading the relentless Exiles.

This dystopian tale tries to capture viewers with its flashy visuals, intense battles, and suspenseful narrative but falls short pretty much with every turn, from poor CGI to a rough script. The film's opening, which shows debris floating above the Earth and a chilling distress signal, sets a bleak tone. Directors Andrew Balek and Joe Bland manage to establish the ominous atmosphere before shifting focus to Silas' perspective.

The screenplay by Joe Bland and Cyrus Cheek alludes to a grander universe they envisioned for COLONIALS. Some limitations prevented this glorious world they had in their minds. Despite striving to be a Sci-Fi epic, COLONIALS is hindered by poorly-timed humor that undermines the story's gravity. The combination of live-action and CGI backgrounds appears clumsy and ill-executed. Moreover, the acting contributes to the film's need for more credibility.

Spark, voiced by Jon Provost, was the only highlight that I could consistently point out from the film. However, even robot dialogue failed to meet the mark. It seems like the entire CGI budget was given to this, and then they remembered there was a world outside that also needed to be created.

COLONIALS attempted to create an engaging Sci-Fi adventure; however, budget constraints hindered its ability to achieve the intended effects. This is usually a comment I save for horror films, but in this case, it fits here too. You should always work within your means when creating a world that doesn’t exist (whether in space or on Earth). If you don’t have the budget, or the ability to make these effects realistically, you should work around it with creative writing.

If you don’t mind the cheesy CGI or rough script, COLONIALS might be worth a watch. The storyline has some redeeming aspects, and some action-packed sequences could hold your attention. And who knows, you may appreciate this ambitious yet visually underwhelming Sci-Fi attempt.

For more reviews and my YouTube channel, please visit linktr.ee/Overlyhonestmoviereviews

Follow me on Letterboxd, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Find my social media accounts on most platforms simply by searching Overly Honest Movie Reviews.

I’m always happy to hear from my readers; please say hi or send me any questions about movies.

[photo courtesy of REEL 2 REEL FILMS]