Growing up, dad always turned me onto apocalyptic scenarios: what if the United States were to come under a mutually-assured storm of nuclear weaponry? What if the government collapsed and we had to fend for ourselves with every scrap of Red Dawn-inspired guerrilla warfare we could muster? What if a black hole were to suddenly materialize and rip away our atmosphere? The Void entertains the latter, but let’s be honest, I only queued this up because my man, Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Star Trek: Generations), stars as this largely thrill-less thriller’s villain.
Professor Eva (Amanda Tapping, Stargate) is trying to break up Malcolm McDowell’s evil corporation after her father is murdered in the opening frames in some awful looking (both story- and production-wise) explosion caused by a conjured black hole on his watch. Mr. McDowell is at it again years later with the intent of using it for some incredible power source to revolutionize blah blah blah. Eva partners with an oaf-ish and horribly miscast Adrian Paul (Highlander) who stumps through the film like the Fonz’s dumb cousin, sporting a natively awful British accent that sounds like a dumb Schwarzenegger impression. When he reveals his childhood pain, we don’t relate, we laugh.
We’re promised some epic black hole-related madness, but the first two thirds of the film look like they were filmed in cul-de-sacs and ‘just out of town’ business parks with some hazard signage plastered on random surfaces for good effect. Meanwhile, McDowell just doesn’t get enough screen time as the arrogant, can’t see the forest through the trees villain. Instead, we watch Eva wander through the film’s 90% based-in-suburbia locales where her friends wind up dead because of her stupid attempt to save the world. We also get to watch the ill chemistry (and completely misspent nudity) of an awkward on-screen romance between her and Adrian Paul that feels like a foul ball in reverse.
Don’t watch this film. Malcolm McDowell playing himself won’t be enough for any of you to get inebriated and start this film, but it was enough for me.