film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Heatstroke 2008 * * 1/2 Stars


"What's the problem?" Um, wouldn't you like to know. In 2008's Heatstroke, that's a loaded question. There are a lot of "problems" and a you-know-what ain't one of them.

So yeah, I initially thought Heatstroke was about humans running for their lives when our planet reached 1000 degrees or so Fahrenheit. Not quite my young Padawan-s. This film is more action-adventure, where you put the hungry foot soldier on an island in the South Pacific and have them take on some pesky aliens. The music for Heatstroke is done in stirring and urgent fashion by Mike Verta. Heck, it almost feels like you're watching a neutered version of the 80s vehicle Predator. I stress the word "almost".

Heatstroke is one of those Sci-Fi Channel Network flicks that goes a little heavy on the gore yet reeks of CGI obviousness. I mean it is what it is with the actors selling scenes the best they can until another round of risible green screen steadily rears. Look there's star D. B. Sweeney appearing like a soccer dad who can still throw down like Van Damme. Look there's co-star Francesca Buller trying to reason with an evil life form before she takes a fang to the chin. And look there's co-star Danica McKellar still giving me those Wonder Years flashbacks with that cutesy face of hers.

Now did I like Heatstroke? I did in fits and starts. The film is not all episodic horror cause sometimes it settles down to tell a story amidst the mayhem. And did I think Heatstroke was well-acted? Sure. The cast of these special ops Commandos had their tongues firmly planted in-cheek, not overly serious with guns pointed and blazing.

Bottom line: if Heatstroke wasn't so anti-climactic in its windup (I'm thinking budget constraints) and the video game extraterrestrials weren't so fugazi, I would have praised it a little more. Turn down the "heat".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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