Riverworld (2003) starring Brad Johnson, Karen Holness, Emily Lloyd, Jeremy Birchall, Kevin Smith directed by Kari Skogland Movie Review

Riverworld (2003)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Brad Johnson in Riverworld (2003)

Lost on a Mysterious Planet

When his space mission goes wrong astronaut Jeff Hale (Brad Johnson) is killed but finds himself washing up on a beach where he meets Alice (Emily Lloyd) who like him has washed up there and is confused as he remembers it was 2009 whilst Alice remembers it being 1934. They are soon surrounded by others such as Lev (Jeremy Birchall) who was part of the Holocaust and together they must try and work out what is what. They discover they are on a Riverworld where those who have died are resurrected. But it seems anyone can end up there from prehistoric man to violent thugs with one who plans to rule the land which leaves Jeff and his friends trying to prevent him.

Worst movie ever, they butchered it, complete and utter travesty. Those were just a few of the comments I saw in reviews of "Riverworld" and they came from people who had read the Philip Jose Farmer's novels from which it is adapted. I haven't read Farmer's novels so I can't judge whether or not it is a hack job but as a movie fan it left me simply under whelmed and wanting it to be over not long after it started.

Emily Lloyd in Riverworld (2003)

There isn't actually a lot which can be said about "Riverworld" as we have a diverse group of people, including an alien, trying to make sense of their situation whilst dealing with the dangers which already exist of the planet. In more recent terms you could say it was a bit like "The 100" with are group led by Hale trying to deal with the tribe who already live on the planet and threaten them. But this certainly doesn't have the production values of "The 100" and in fact has the look which was old even in the 90s and that makes this feel little more than a pilot for a TV series, the movie to launch the series that is if enough people liked it which I guess they didn't.

The trouble with this is not just the inferior look but a sense of being in a rush to get from washing up on the beach to... well let me just say a boat is involved because are plucky bunch of strangers have an entire planet to investigate, well would have if the TV movie had worked.

What this all boils down to is that even for someone who hasn't read the novels from which "Riverworld" is adapted it ends up distinctly weak with an inferior look and a sense of it being in a rush to just set things up rather than tell a story.