Ten prisoners condemned to exile on a hostile planet XT-59 must pave the way through swamp to reach the Islands of Happiness, the only safe area on the planet, before the harsh climate or the underground horrors kill them all.
This movie appears to have many names. Vychislitel is the original Russian name but in English it appears to be called Calculator, in French Titanium and in German Titanium – Strafplanet XT-59. The English title is, as far as I understand it, the one closest to the original Russian name.
I have to confess that I had some problems following this movie since the original language is, of course, Russian and my Russian is a wee bit rusty as in non-existent. Therefore we had to watch it dubbed which is something I normally never do. Unfortunately the French are lousy (arrogant) when it comes to foreign movies and even on a Blu-ray disc they can generally only be bothered to include a French sound track if the original movie is not English. Thus we had to watch it in French and my French is not really good enough to understand all the nuances.
Anyway this is a fairly decent little science fiction movie. Not a great one but definitely decent. The story is perhaps not the most innovative around. On a planet rather hostile to human life with a totalitarian government controlling the inhabitant’s lives in minute detail, including who they marry etc… a group of condemned prisoners are let loose on the planets surface where they are expected to die. Naturally some of them do not but manages to undertake a journey which brings them to a secret hideout with the means to escape. The movie tells the story about their journey.
The reason we bought this movie was because me and my oldest son saw the trailer on TV (I know, you should never buy a movie based on the trailer) and it looked quite cool with some original special effects. There are indeed some cool looking special effects in this movie. The black and hostile landscape are quite cool and it is filled with some rather original life forms. All of them very hostile towards anything biological that moves of course.
Unfortunately the movie did not appear to be made on a very high budget. The monsters and the scenery are quite cool as I wrote but a lot of the movie is spent on people walking, people talking or people arguing. A lot of the cool stuff was shown in the trailer though. Having said that, the scenery and the acting was still quite decent although, as I also said, I did struggle a bit to follow all of the interactions.
As a whole it was an interesting movie if you are a science fiction fan but people looking for a special effects and action loaded movie will probably be disappointed. I did not feel like a waste of time for me (I am a science fiction fan after all) but it was not a “wow this movie was good” moment either.