Man-Thing (2005)

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4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Man-Thing, never thought I'd see a Man-Thing movie

Dull story, Man-Thing is barely in the film, changes entire origin

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Man-Thing

Studio:  Lions Gate Films

Genre(s):  Superhero/Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  April 30, 2005

MPAA Rating:  R

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It’s Man-Thing…one of the only characters that just has a dirty sounding name

Kyle Williams (Matthew Le Nevez) has taken a new job as the sheriff in the southern swamp town of Bywater.  When Sheriff Williams learn that a developer named Frederic Schist (Jack Thompson) has the local tribe angry over the taking of their land and that people have been disappearing, Williams learns that his job might not be as simple as he thought.  Williams teams with an activist named Teri Richards (Rahel Taylor) to search the swamp for the killer and the real reason behind the killings.  There is something in the swamps however…and it will never stop until the swamp are free.

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Please note that almost all these scenes come from the last ten minutes of the film…

Directed by Brett Leonard, Man-Thing adapted the Marvel Comic and was originally planned for straight-to-DVD release, but toyed with being released in the theater with the popularity of superhero films.  The movie instead ended up playing on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2005 and was received with negative reviews.

I actually liked Man-Thing a lot…when it was a comic.  The character first appeared as a back-up story in the black-and-white Marvel magazine Savage Tales #1 (May 1971).  Partially based on a World War II character called the Heap, Man-Thing soon actually found itself being compared to DC’s more popular Swamp Thing character (which actually appeared later in July 1971).  While Swamp Thing had a movie, Man-Thing just got labeled as the “superhero” with the dirty sounding name (especially with Marvel’s release of Giant-Size Man-Thing).

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Oh no…look out for that giant-sized Man-Thing!!!

Part of the reason that Man-Thing failed is that it deviated from the character so much.  In the original story, Ted Sallis was working on the Super-Soldier Serum (the chemical that created Captain America) and is betrayed…he is forced to flee into the swamp and the serum interacts with the water creating Man-Thing.  It has no real memory of being Sallis and “whatever knows fear, burns at the touch of Man-Thing”.

Here, Man-Thing is the protector of the swamp and Nexus of Realities (which is true to the comic), but the whole story of Native American and a boring police officer leads to a dull, dull movie.  Plus Man-Thing only can control plants and no fiery touch.  Schist did appear in the original comic as a developer and enemy of Man-Thing, but Man-Thing was much more the focus of the story.

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Man-Thing….You got a raw deal…once again…sounds dirty…

It is too bad that Man-Thing wasn’t more of the focus.  I do like some of the atmospheric feeling of Man-Thing watching the people, and the character design (once seen) is actually pretty decent.  I feel that the budget of the movie probably didn’t allow Man-Thing to be seen often, and this is why we’re treated to a boring police story of corruption.  I also think that the movie is a bit too dark and atmospheric because it is often too difficult to follow the action being presented on the screen.

Man-Thing is an unfortunate creation.  I have always felt that the character has great potential and looks awesome.  I never expected to see a live action Man-Thing (yes, it still sound dirty) and kind of wish I hadn’t because it made me wish for a real Man-Thing movie that is true to the character.  With a good design and decent story, Man-Thing could be a fun film…It just isn’t fun here.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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