Stonehenge Apocalypse (2010)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Misha Collins, Torri Higginson, Hill Harper, Peter Wingfield
Directed by Paul Ziller
If you loved 2012, you're going to have a blast with Stonehenge Apocalypse. However, if you possess a learned degree of scientific or historical knowledge or prefer your disaster movies to have even a shred of realism, be warned that the developmentally challenged Syfy doomsday thriller Stonehenge Apocalypse will probably make your head explode.
The mystery of Stonehenge is finally revealed. Stonehenge is actually an ancient terraforming machine that created all life on the planet, possibly built by aliens. It even has its own internal harmonic doomsday clock counting down to zero so that we can all follow along. When it hits zero, every ancient pyramid on the planet will volcanically erupt, but until then a random pyramid/volcano somewhere on the planet will erupt every ten hours so that we have something to look at other than scientists standing around debating pseudo-science. When Stonehenge electromagnetically charges, the rocks spin round and zap the altar stone with lightning that looks so much like leftover Quickening effects from the "Highlander" TV series I'm surprised co-star Peter Wingfield didn't get confused and start trying to decapitate cast members. The ensuing gamma bursts trigger Neolithic pyramids around the planet, all of which turn out to secretly be transformers - not the robot kind, they morph from pyramids into volcanoes. If Roland Emmerich ever scripted an episode of "Torchwood", I suspect this is the sort of plot he would come up with.
If movies of late have taught me anything, it's that the crackpot is always right. The fringe scientist with the insanely improbable theory is always right. The unhinged conspiracy theorist who believes the most insanely absurd schemes is always right. The doomsday prophet ever predicting that Armageddon is at hand is always right. The crazier the belief, the more accurate it will be proven to be. Watching Stonehenge Apocalypse made me realize I might just be getting all conspiracied out. After the past ten years of 9/11 "truthers", left-wing paranoia about the Bush administration, and now Republican “birthers, Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones types, in addition to all the usual Book of Revelations, global warming, New World Order doomsayers, and the 2012 Mayan calendar lunacy that I suspect is only going to escalate in the next two years, I would kill for a movie where the conspiratorial crackpot is proven dead wrong and gets dressed down by someone more reasoned for being such a crazy loon believing stupid things. Now wouldn't that be a twist?
The nutter who happens to be dead right in this instance is a genius scientist turned smarmy Art Bell-type conspiracy radio show host named Jacob Blazer (Misha Collins of "Supernatural"). I don't know why he bothers with the radio show or why anyone would tune in given the open hostility he displays towards callers that insult him for being a wacko as well as the callers that want to share their own wacky theories that he instantly shoots down in the rudest manner possible. He keeps hanging up on British callers inundating his show with calls about the rocks at Stonehenge moving and the military closing the area down. Sure enough, surfing to Stonehenge.com gives him a webpage more or less stating STONEHENGE CLOSED. STAY OUT BY ORDER OF THE MILITARY. Is it really a conspiracy when it's practically that transparent?
Jacob hops on the first plane to Britain and sneaks past military guards with such ease the movie doesn't even feel the need to bother to show us how he does so. All that matters is Jacob is there with his highly accurate super science gobbledygook and all-purpose electromagnetism meter, and thank goodness because the British scientists on the scene appear clueless and the British military prove to be as incompetent as their American counterparts in movies such as this.
The key to preventing the apocalyptic revamping of Earth is an ancient artifact that looks suspiciously like an oversized Wild West Marshall’s badge that when placed on the alter stone will serve as an off switch for Stonehenge. Conveniently, this artifact can be found at a museum within driving distance. Sounds simple enough; so simple I was beginning to wonder how they were going to fill the second half if they already acquired the solution. The answer: Have the artifact stolen by a doomsday cult that wants the world.
As if this film couldn't get any more preposterous, an even crazier colleague of Jacob's has discovered a giant Noah's Ark pyramid somewhere under the state of Maine, so at least we can take heed in knowing Stephen King will live on. Not coming across even the least bit plausible in a movie rife with implausibility, this humanity-hating archaeologist and his tiny flock of hippies intend to ride out Armageddon and repopulate the renewed world, but first he needs that artifact to unlock it or something. We're actually supposed to believe this gigantic pyramid can withstand all manner of world-altering cataclysm even though its front doors can be blown open by a single concussion grenade?
A whole lot of scientific mumbo jumbo is hotly debated. Dumb dialogue is constantly muttered. Actors stare intently at monitors and meters. Nobody ever needs to eat or sleep or use the bathroom or even appear the slightest bit fatigued after being up for at least two days straight. Random pyramids erupt in a split second. Cult commandos raid a museum. A two-man S.W.A.T. team launches a raid on a giant pyramid. Shootouts and jeep chases. Why shouldn't we nuke Stonehenge? Absurdity abounds at every turn, and thankfully, the swift pace keeps those turns coming before we have a chance to get bored or annoyed by how monolithically silly Stonehenge Apocalypse is. Even by the standards of made-for-Syfy disaster epics, Stonehenge Apocalypse registers a high magnitude on the Richter scale of ridiculousness. Or should I say it registers off-the-scales of the Milligauss meter?
2 1/2 out of 5
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