It gets a little confusing to me what the two guys who put together The Blair Witch Project have done since. They haven’t done a film together since then, but every film one or the other has done says “From the creator of the Blair Witch Project.”
To clarify, Eduardo Sanchez has done Altered (great little flick) and the upcoming Seventh Moon. Daniel Myrick has done Solstice (good cast, boring flick), Believers (from WB’s Raw Feed line), and now The Objective.
The first thing you’ll notice about The Objective is that it sounds like it’s narrated by Edward Norton. Dissapointingly, it’s not, the lead actor (Jonas Ball) just sounds a LOT like him. I kept hoping to hear “I am Jack’s pursuit of unexplained flying objects.” Which is, essentially, what The Objective boils down to.
An elite group of soldiers stationed in Afghanistan in November 2001 (though it easily could have taken place today in Afghanistan too) is sent to make contact with a guy named Mohammed Aban, an FBI agent in tow. Still, as they search for Aban, it becomes clear that FBI guy hasn’t told them the entire truth and what they’re really out there for is something far more…well…mysterious.
MINOR SPOILERS ON:
It’s never really explained what the hell the thing they’re looking for is in The Objective, and I understand why. As anyone will tell you, the story should be more about the journey than the destination. The Objective has some good acting from all of its principals, and the storyline is interesting enough to keep you interested.
I think my main issue with it is just that it doesn’t feel resolved at the end. We’re no closer to understanding what they were searching for, and the last ten minutes of the film make no damn sense at all (maybe it will on repeat viewings). Despite the fact that not terribly much happens in the film, it doesn’t feel slow moving, and I never felt like it dragged.
The best points of the film, to me, were the descriptions of life out there in the desert. At one point, it’s stated that the only way you can tell what decade it is is by the color of the soldier’s uniforms. It’s an interesting commentary, and, though this is a sci-fi/horror flick, I think took me as more interesting than the main storyline.
There are some pretty great scenes, such as the team’s first encounter with the object they’re pursuing, that set up a really interesting premise. See, the “object” in this film, extraterrestrial or not, feels original. It’s not really like anything I’ve seen on film before, and it leads to some great creepy moments. Still, again, the ending just kind of fizzles out. Maybe the story is planned to continue, but I’m not really certain how they’d do it.
The Objective has been called “Blair Witch” in the desert, and I can say I understand the comparison, but there are enough differences that I wouldn’t say they’re exactly alike. Still, and maybe it’s just because Blair Witch was such a phenomenon, I don’t feel like The Objective holds a candle to it.
According to The Objective‘s official site, “IFC’s plan for the film is to release it on VOD and theatrical in NY/Los Angeles. The film is set to play at the IFC Center in NY starting on February 4th and will then make its way to the Sunset 5 in Hollywood on March 13th.” If you’re in the area, or if it’s on VOD in your area, definitely check it out. It’s a decent time waster, and I’d like to see Myrick continue along this path of mixing documentary style with regular style filmmaking – it seems to be where his strength lies (Ugh…Solstice!)
Paul Awesomeness Score – 5 out of 10