Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40K Movie (2010)

Recently watched the 2010 film Ultramarines and, especially for a game turned movie, it was quite good. And I am not just saying next to these piles of crap it is good, I would say it is at least an average film and I very much enjoyed it.

They [The Space Marines] are more than mortal, they are steel and they are doom. They are the champions of mankind and the greatest of them all are the Ultramarines.

Warhammer 40,000, for anyone who does not already know, is primarily a scifi tabletop wargame in the same vein as DnD. But it could also be said that it is primarily a universe, as the creators has put in a huge amount of backstory into it and numerous books, two video games, and other assorted spin-offs have been created.

Everything has a purpose, the Emperor ordains it so.
In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.

The basic story, at least what I know of it, is there are the protagonists the good, but totalitarian, genetically engineered Space Marines who fight for the humans and their nemesis, Chaos, primarily seen as Chaos Marines and Demons. Add to this a hoard of militaristic alien races and picture them all locked in a never ending struggle and you might have an idea of what this is all about.

Chaos breaks mens souls. Chaos brings the pestilence of daemons. Every time we march from our beloved fortress home on Macragge, we march to face down Chaos, and banish it.
(Macragge is the home world of the Ultramarines)

So back to the film. My favourite part of the film was the awesome quotes in the dialogue, some of which I have included in this article, but overall their were more things that could really do with improvement then impressive features. For one, the graphics were nothing special, not bad but nothing more then that. Secondly, no interesting tactical manoeuvres were shown, which is a mainstay of the tabletop game, so I was looking forward to their being some. And their was not even any particularly great action sequences.

I am steel! I am doom! I march for Macragge! And I shall know no fear!!


  1. Strangely enough I've just finished another Ciaphas Cain novel where he serves with the Astartes - I don't suppose he features in this?

  2. No one by that name, it is actuality quite sparse on the Space Marines, their are only like a dozen in the entire film.
    And if how they talked in film is any judge, none of them were particularly legendary war heroes.

  3. Well, it's not every day we disagree dear Jonathon, but -despite being particularly fond of the 40k universe- I thought the film was mediocre at best. The plot was incredibly cliched, the CGI meh and it was no better than the worse of the Black Library short stories.

  4. I am sure their are many better stories.
    I am always really unsure how to rate movies, their are so many really really bad movies produced every year you get something that is mediocre (which I don't disagree with you, mediocre is a good description to use) and as long as it is not so bad that you think the director must of been trying to produce the worst crap possible then it really is better then the average movie.

    And I still enjoy mediocre, and even really bad, films because they are so much easier to watch then to play a game or read a novel, which takes your entire concentration.

  5. It took me days, but I thought of a rating system. Compare each and every movie ever to Stalker and Weekend and if they fall short ignore them.