Oh, man. As a loyal Film Threat writer, the minute I saw good ol’ Kevin Carr’s name in the credits, I really wanted to like this movie. He’s a colleague, you know? You wanna support your co-workers. But, um, Kevin? Buddy? I really respect your work. But I couldn’t get into “New World”.
Directed by Peter John Ross, “New World” is intended to be a pilot for a proposed television series, about Earth’s last hope – a small rebellion of humans taking up arms against a reigning alien invasion. Clocking in at 28 minutes, it’s what Battlefield Earth should have been – short!
There are prolonged laser battles, nifty-looking battle drone-ships, a trio of sword fights, and lots of running around the woods. Everyone in “New World” is taking the project very seriously. This is one of the most dead-earnest projects I’ve seen in a long time. Sadly, the performances don’t quite measure up to the enthusiasm (I’m sorry, Kevin – I’m sure you were one of the better actors, but I’m not sure which one you were – all the characters just kind of blend together), and a story of this magnitude just can’t be pulled off for a thousand dollars (the budget quoted in the brief “making of” segment at the end). As a stand-alone story, it doesn’t quite work as it is obviously an episode later in the proposed series. This gets us into the heart of the action, but doesn’t do too well to orienting us as to who’s who and what’s what, despite a well-crafted prologue (“…Previously on ‘New World’…).
Granted, Ross and company are obviously selling the concept of “New World”, rather than the actual production. They envision “V” by way of “Jason of Star Command” here, and to its credit, “New World” has played all over the place, including the grand-daddy of conventions, the San Diego Comicon. Maybe sometime down the line, the “New World” crew will find a home for the series.