Category 8 Disaster of a Movie

Matthew Modine in CAT. 8 (2013)

When the Pentagon wanted to use Dr. Michael Ranger's (Matthew Modine) solar research as part of a new weapons system he not only walked away from the project but did his best to destroy it. But the fragmented pieces of his research are pieced together and thanks to Defence Secretary Brian Lee's (Ted Whittall) eagerness to trial the new weapon of destruction which harnesses the sun's power a major disaster starts as the sun shoots out massive solar flares which cause satellites and space stations to hurtle back towards earth. The only man who can save the world is Michael but Lee's dislike of him and what he knows makes things difficult. But things get worse when after preventing one disaster it has a knock on effect of causing another as the Earth's core stops spinning.

When I see a movie come under the genre of sci-fi I watch not expecting realism and so have in the past accepted a lot of absolute nonsense because it was still entertaining. Unfortunately whilst "CAT. 8" is certainly a lot of nonsense it isn't in the least bit entertaining and feels like someone has tried to be clever by combing two sci-fi disaster movies into one with one disaster causing a knock on effect of starting another, almost a movie with a sequel but put together as one long movie. About the only thing which I can find to praise when it comes to "CAT. 8" is that some of the special effects impress but beyond that it almost gets to the point of being laughably bad.

Kalinka Petrie and Spiro Malandrakis in CAT. 8 (2013)

So as I said "CAT. 8" actually feels like someone has tried to be clever and combined two disaster movies in one using the knock on effect of one disaster to cause another. That idea in itself is actually pretty decent and someone with the money and the imagination could actually deliver an entertaining big screen two part disaster movie. But what get served up in "CAT. 8" is frankly terrible using sci-fi disaster cliches from other movies which rather than ending up being exciting end up being laughable.

What that means is the first half of "CAT. 8" gives us a disaster involving solar flares threatening the world leading to power outages, planes crashing as well as the danger of objects floating in space coming crashing back down to Earth. That in itself is laughable but not as laughable as to how this plays out especially when we have Michael's daughter saying "you've just saved the world" when he comes up with a way to do so. But then we get the knock on effect of his heroic plan and we get the seriously laughable "the core has stopped spinning" scenario which not only leads to the planet heating up but of course a plan to restart it. Frankly I usually can let pass far fetched science but in this case it is so far fetched and frankly corny that "CAT. 8" can't help but be laughable, more so than the usual 90 minute sci-fi disaster movies which feature meteors and ice storms threatening mass destruction of the planet.

And to be honest there isn't a great deal more to say as the characters throughout the whole movie are terrible with Matthew Modine as Michael often looking like he is trying to suppress his laughter. About the only thing worth mentioning is that whilst the special effects are not up to big screen standards some of them are surprisingly decent although at the same time some are also seriously corny.

What this all boils down to is that "CAT. 8" has a good concept of using one disaster as a knock on effect for a second but what goes on in the movie is mainly laughable.

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