Epoch (2000) Movie Review

UFO Films, the production company that made “Epoch”, has done some of the worst movies I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. They count “Dragon Fighter” and “Python 2” among their cheapo failures, although compared to this travesty called “Epoch”, the former two films are Godsends. In UFO movies you can usually count on seeing at least one shot of a CGI helicopter flying around, as well as a CGI army transport plane. The writer or director of most of their films is Phillip J. Roth, who I’m sure either owns stock in the company or owns it. No one with any level of competent sanity would voluntarily spend their career working for a company as vacuous as UFO Films.

Another UFO staple is the presence of faceless U.S. Army soldiers carrying M16 rifles and wearing loose-fitting costume store-quality “uniforms”. And oh, the soldiers will always prove to be the most inept and downright imbecilic group of soldiers to ever take up soldiering as a profession. Of course their brainless presence is made even more unbelievable because the movie always refers to them as either a “special force” or “elite” this or that; i.e. they’re supposed to be exceptionally well trained, but proves not to be so by a long shot.

With CGI vehicles and brain dead U.S. “special forces” soldiers at hand, Matt Codd’s “Epoch” stars David Keith (“Daredevil”) as Mason Rand, a super smart guy who can figure super weird stuff really super fast. Rand, who is dying of some movie disease, has about 12 months or so to live, which means he goes around acting like a jackass and is prone to temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. And oh, being that he’s a civilian, Rand is also a self-righteous jackass, even if his supposedly “righteousness” comes across as somewhat retarded to the rest of us.

Rand has been recruited by the (what else?) inept U.S. Government to explore a giant black rock-like structure that has just popped up from the Earth and is now standing in the middle of the Bhutan desert. The object is the size of a skyscraper, and seems to have the ability to cure people. Also sent to explore the object is Dr. KC (Stephanie Niznik) and a small group of “highly trained soldiers” (*snicker*) led by Captain Tower (Brian Thompson), who claims he has no thoughts about the object because he’s “not paid to think”. The same goes for all soldiers in UFO Films, apparently.

No sooner does the group gain entrance into the alien object does a couple of Red Chinese Migs appear and fires a missile at the rock. Oh wait. Let me back up. The Bhutan Government has invited the U.S. Government to explore the object, but they haven’t done the same for the Chinese. Hence, not having the invitation to enter another country’s sovereign land, the Red Chinese are such morons that they’ll send two jetfighters into another country’s airspace anyway and shoot a missile at the object with American troops inside! Does the term “international incident of World War III-like proportions” mean anything to these people?

But wait! After the Chinese jets have shot at the rock and been destroyed by the rock in self-defense, the Americans worry about how to explain the destruction of the Chinese jets to the Chinese! How about this, geniuses — why not demand that the Chinese explain for sending their jets, having their jets fire at the rock, and the presence of a division of Chinese soldiers in Bhutan land first!

You know, it’s movies like “Epoch”, with its unbelievable character motivations and a script devoid of any semblance of intelligence that makes me wish I had the energy to write longer reviews. That way I could take the movie apart piece by piece and show you, dear readers, just how awful and completely worthless this film really is. Unfortunately I have neither the time nor the inclination to do so, and so this little hatchet piece will have to do.

The worst part about “Epoch” is that it has a terrific premise.

Matt Codd (director) / Jonathan Raymond, Phillip J. Roth (screenplay)
CAST: David Keith …. Mason Rand
Ryan O’Neal …. Allen Lysander
Stephanie Niznik …. Dr. KC Czaban
Julia-Levy Raul …. Jose the Bandido
Brian Thompson …. Capt. Tower

Buy Epoch on DVD