Monday, September 10, 2012

Revolution Pilot Review | If You Like Machetes and Plots Holes

Revolution is the post-apocalyptic series created by Eric Kripke and produced by J.J. Abrams (just produced, no input what so ever). It follows a daughter, Charlie Matheson, who must seek the help of her estranged uncle after her father is killed and her brother is taken by militia 15 years after a mysterious worldwide catastrophe that left the world without power or technology.  At first glance, the series has a decent introduction of a city deprived of power while multiple planes fall from the night sky. The concept of a world stripped of technology when the laws of physics go topsy-turvy is definitely interest worthy.  The characters play the part of disaster survivors well enough. It had a great final fight scene, epic in fact. A dozen bad guys were killed, muskets were shot, and machetes were used in elaborate machete fights, machetes being the swords of the future of course.

The down side is that a series like this seems unsustainable. Money was spent on the pilot, but Revolution, and all other post-apocalyptic shows, involve disaster set pieces that are too expensive to maintain. This always leads to forest settings and shanty towns that always look peculiarly the same. Expect a much less polished look in the next episodes. Also expect to become annoyed by the asthmatic character. He sounds like the perfect person for saving, but when you think about asthma attack he will likely have every episode it makes you cringe. One thing that does stick out is the oddly stylized outfits worn in Revolution. It’s nice that the top leather makers survived the disaster so our protagonists work in style, but the tailored look in this particular setting boggles the mind.

Something sure to become an annoyance if not fixed would be the believability of the characters. Character development was scarce even for a pilot episode. Their actions seemed to develop the over the top end fight scene more than anything else, but their motivations are nonsense. The battle hardened uncle decides to fight a dozen soldiers instead of simply leaving and then decides to leave because a battle royale is only silly the second time around. As a pilot episode, Revolution failed to deliver the promise pilots are supposed to have. There is a mystery about the sudden loss of power, but the protagonists do not seem interested in solving it. Their main purpose is to save an asthmatic from captors he already escaped from once, which really lessens the gravity of the situation when you think about it. Revolution had some flaws in the execution of the pilot. Since this is an Eric Kripke production, and it looked like studio hands were all over this thing, we’ll hold out hope for some retooling from the upcoming episodes.  Who knows, maybe weekly machete fights are just what the TV gods demand or maybe Revolution will be the blood sacrifice that will usher in another Fall TV season. 

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