Written by: Ray Richmond
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter – Hallmark Channel’s “Final Days of Planet Earth” is a sci-fi thriller-cum-camp extravaganza that envisions a world where your Blackberry cannot save you in a pinch and your friends may sprout slimy appendages at a moment’s notice.
Produced by the ubiquitous and deep-pocketed Robert Halmis senior and junior, “Earth” is as slickly produced a doltish journey as you’re likely to see this century. The film is all babble and pretty much no action through its first half. We don’t even get to the mantis-dismantling until much farther in, which raises the even more frightening scenario that the planet will implode on its own lame dialogue.
Daryl Hannah stars as Liz Quinlan, an astronaut who is minding her own business when one day her body is taken over by an alien queen with an annoying penchant for turning her host into a mantis at will. Gil Bellows of “Ally McBeal” fame co-stars as an archaeologist who slowly uncovers the horrible truth that only the imprisoned Commander William Phillips (Campbell Scott) really knows.
It’s all supposed to take place within a three-year period, with bizarre disappearances and strange accidents aplenty. But the packaging is so clunky that it’s not altogether clear why any of this is taking place. And director Robert Lieberman appears to have instructed his actors to treat their lines as if the movie were called “Final Days of Your Career.” If this is what the end of the world as we know it might look like, we can only pray that the real thing would be better scripted.
[Air date: October 14, 2006 8:00PM ET – length: 3hrs]