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A.P.E.X. - 2 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 1994 Green Communications
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 17 August 2007

The Characters:  

  • Nicholas Sinclair - This gent has it easy. He must prevent a time paradox and decide whether sleeping with an alternate reality version of his wife is adultery.
  • Natasha Sinclair - She has man arms.
  • Shepherd - "Tough guy" soldier whose awful trigger control should make it impossible for him to hit anything. Killed by an anti-tank rocket through the heart.
  • Taylor - Angry and outspoken (when he is unhappy, which is often) African-American man who carries the team's heavy anti-armor bazooka. Unfortunately it is an energy weapon and takes a while to recharge, so he has a lot of time to complain between shots. Sucked into a singularity.
  • Rasheed - He spends a lot of the movie looking at the scanning console on his forearm and yelling out ranges to targets. Blown to pieces.
  • Dr. Elgin - A desk jockey in either universe.
  • A.P.E.X. Sterilization Units - The only way to destroy one is by hitting the "Eject" button with a bullet. Then the DVD pops out and the robot explodes.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

In the year 2072, mankind began to explore time. Sinclair and Eglin are in charge of the research facility where A.P.E.X. robots are sent through a portal to visit the past. The acronym A.P.E.X. comes from "Advanced Prototype EXploration units." I suppose that A.P.E.U. is not as impressive an acronym, while ApexU sounds like a university in California. Oh well, moving on. An unfortunate problem with exploring time is that the units become infected with a virus caused by the temporal displacement. As a result, probes are only sent through time to places where they will not come into contact with people. If someone could explain the benefits of going back in time via a metal robot that must avoid human contact because it will cause a plague, I would appreciate the help.

Technician: "Probe has successfully arrived in the middle of the Mojave Desert, year marker is 1973."
Mission Commander: "Excellent, begin scan."
Technician: "I see sand and...a rock! We have confirmed the existence of a large brown rock in 1973!"
Mission Commander: "Wooohooo! High fives!"

Nicholas' bad day begins on 3 April 2073. A routine mission to the Mojave Desert, circa 1973, goes horribly wrong. The probe encounters a hippie and his family (you could not throw a rock in 1973 without hitting a hippie). A fun fact here is that the hippie's vehicle appears to be a 1975 or 1976 Jeep Cherokee. I guess that the hippies were traveling through time long before anyone else and used their power to purchase SUVs from the future. This is a serious issue and could ruin extended warranties for everyone.

Yes, they actually send a probe into the Mojave Desert circa 1973. Did you think I pulled that year and location out of my butt earlier?

When an A-1-0-1 Priority event, like encountering a hippie, occurs, the laboratory implements an emergency action plan to ensure that the time paradox is contained. Self destruct orders are transmitted to the probe. If that fails, A.P.E.X. sterilization units are dispatched through the portal by automatic systems. The sterilization units are hunter/killer robots armed with mini-rocket launchers and cannons. Their purpose, best as I can ascertain, is to eliminate the paradox timeline by shooting it.

Did you notice that time travel is what caused the virus? This explains why we will never find a cure for the common cold. We are all traveling through time, just at regular speed; so we become infected with the virus. Tell those scientists and doctors to close the research facilities and buy yourself a bag of Ricola. The common cold is here to stay. At least, it will be.

Okay, so what happens to Nicholas? He is accidentally sucked into the gateway and transported to 1973, before landing back in 2073. Except, he travels back along the alternate timeline - the world that Nicholas returns to is one ravaged by one hundred years of war. It is a ruined place, with small bands of soldiers fighting a losing battle against an endless stream of killer robots sent from the original timeline. Our protagonist discovers that, in this alternate reality, he is a soldier and not very well liked by most of the others. He also gets a firsthand look at the war as sterilization units mount a concentrated attack on a small enclave protected by Shepherd's unit. The defenders' most effective weapon is a stationary gun platform, but it takes three minutes to recharge. Feel sorry for the gunner, because he kills off two A.P.E.X. attackers before taking a direct hit from a mini-rocket.

Are we really to believe that enough sterilization units have been sent through the portal to bring humanity to the brink of extinction? There is no factory producing A.P.E.X. droids here. Every single hunter/killer was dispatched from Nicholas' original laboratory. What idiot ordered twenty million sterilization units?

Be warned: distances are a confusing aspect of the alternate world. Characters (Rasheed mostly) often call out ranges to targets that are obviously inaccurate. Somebody says that the range is "three hundred yards," then the A.P.E.X. steps into view about fifty feet away. What happened to the gun platform operator earlier is a perfect example. He marks his target at two thousand yards, observes that his maximum effective range is one thousand yards, and then frets that it will take three minutes for the cannon to recharge. Sterilization units move at a steady walk. If that robot is two thousand yards away, it might be in range after ten minutes. I also think the gunner saw the mini-rocket coming at him and he spent two or three seconds screaming before being blown to bits.

The command bunker entry is guarded by a gun platform (but no dogs; A.P.E.X. can be easily identified on sight) and contains the last dregs of humanity. It also has a scanning station that is picking up a fluctuating power source nearby. Nicholas figures out that the power anomaly must be the mirror image of his lab. If he can reach it, he can use the portal to return to the real Earth and stop the experiment. A recon mission is in order. Nicholas, Shepherd, Taylor, Rasheed, and Natasha head out into the desert. Their mission involves no small amount of bickering. Polite conversation is not a familiar concept to this group. When characters address each other, the exchange is likely to be belligerent or contentious; or, more often than not, both.

Natasha is especially hostile toward Nicholas and confused by his attitude in return. She is infected with the lethal virus that the wayward scientist brought to the world during his brief visit in 1973. Infected people are easily identified by "bio readers" that turn red if the virus is detected in the bloodstream. Most people treat Natasha as if she had the plague (which she does). The only reason that the infected woman was sent on the mission was to be a "flanker." Flankers are essentially an expendable resource and have the same life expectancy as a warrior with no battle honors in "Myth: The Fallen Lords." When I see a wight pop into view all of the experienced swordsmen run the other way, while I click to send the FNG straight at the walking undead bomb. Seconds later the veterans are showered with dirt and body parts. Anyway, Nicholas further confuses Natasha by slipping up and referring to her as his wife during a heated exchange with Taylor.

Following some miscellaneous action during their trek to the derelict research facility, a power failure traps Nicholas and Natasha inside the portal room. The other three soldiers are forced to hump all the way back to the command bunker to fetch a replacement power relay. The time-tossed lovers just plain hump, after Nicholas tells his alternate reality wife the real story behind the A.P.E.X. disaster.

"I screwed up and destroyed your world, including creating the plague that you are infected with. Sorry. Can we still have sex?" Works every time...

For reasons unexplained, maybe the fact that Nicholas is "Patient 0," sterilization units converge on the lab. A hunter/killer even materializes inside the room and begins scanning for life forms to eliminate. The command bunker has its own problems. As the universe struggles to correct itself and remove the temporal aberration, people begin to wink out of existence. By the time Shepherd, Taylor, and Rasheed depart, the bunker is an empty tomb. Will Nicholas succeed or is humanity doomed because some idiot ordered too many sterilization units?

A funny thing about the arm-mounted weapon used by the sterilization units is that it fires explosive projectiles. Every human or cinderblock wall unfortunate enough to be hit turns into a ball of fire. This fails to happen once, when Natasha is shot in the chest. I guess that causing the hero's love interest to scream and explode is a no-no. Not to mention that kissing a burnt corpse on the lips might have ruined his poignant goodbye.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Chess and time travel are alike; both can result in a paradox, but the latter does not require any pieces.
  • A classic Jeep Cherokee can outrun an anti-tank rocket.
  • Avoid contact with persons exhibiting red bio readers.
  • It is amazing what you can build using plumbing supplies and tan spray paint.
  • Finger castanets were invented by suicide bombers.
  • People infected with fatal diseases look best under red lighting.
  • 300 yards is a lot closer than it sounds.
  • Pray that Microsoft never starts making circuit breakers.
  • DRM-enabled music CDs are lethal to robots.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • Opening Credits - Is the object to hit the glowing balls or does the person playing suck that bad?
  • 4 mins - Those sheets look brand new.
  • 15 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CAMPER!
  • 19 mins - Holy cow, it's a Landmaster!
  • 36 mins - Maybe you should find a different version of Natasha in another alternate timeline.
  • 38 mins - Notice how the optical sight on Natasha's rifle is an empty tube.
  • 43 mins - Annnnndddd...action!
  • 61 mins - If joining the Navy is an option, then I would suggest everyone be drafted and put to sea.
  • 76 mins - Except you have herpes simplex 413, so sex is out of the question.
  • 94 mins - How did that happen? Buddy, I think that another Nicholas Sinclair has been with your wife.

Quotes: 

  • Nicholas: "I didn't mean to upset you."
    Natasha: "Upset me? What are you some kind of f**king joker, Sinclair? You send me on a goddamn recon and you're worried about upsetting me?"
  • Shepherd: "Rasheed, Taylor - check the roof."
    Taylor: "Jesus, Shepherd, you want us to go back outside? We just got in here!"
    Shepherd: "I said check the roof. Do it!"
    Taylor: "Well, I don't want to check it out. I want to stay here."
    Shepherd: "God damn it, I said do it now!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note apex1.wav Nicholas: "April 3rd, 2073. We were about to launch a probe one hundred years into the past. Whatever happened that day, nothing in my life would ever be the same."
Green Music Note apex2.wav Listen as everything goes wrong in the lab.
Green Music Note apex3.wav Taylor: "S**t, scavengers! Come on, Shep, man I say we camp somewhere else."
Shepherd: "Yeah, where? Rasheed?"
Rasheed: "It's clear; if there were scavengers here they're not here now."
Taylor: "Yeah, well you know what I say, 'Where there's smoke, there's damn sure fire!'"
Shepherd: "Would you shut up!"
Green Music Note apex4.wav Natasha: "You still didn't answer my question. Why did you call me your wife?"
Nicholas: "'Cause in another time you are my wife."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipapex1.mpg - 3.7m
Rasheed caused enough damage to shutdown one robot; after the DVD ejected, he replaced it with a music CD. Of course, that makes the sterilization unit shimmy before exploding. Then another sterilization unit shoots Rasheed with its gyrojet rifle, causing him to explode. Whole lotta exploding going on.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2
Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #1. Posted on August 17, 2007, 08:35:47 PM by BTM

Great review, I remember actually watching this movie years back.

Favorite lines:

>If someone could explain the benefits of going back in time via a metal robot that must avoid human contact because it will cause a plague, I would appreciate the help.

>The only reason that the infected woman was sent on the mission was to be a "flanker." Flankers are essentially an expendable resource and have the same life expectancy as a warrior with no battle honors in "Myth: The Fallen Lords."

HAHA, I remember playing that game!  Heck, tried to install it several months back but couldn't get the damn to work on Win XP.  (I know, I know, DosBox might do it, but I moved on to other things...)

Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #2. Posted on August 17, 2007, 09:41:25 PM by nshumate
I watched this one about ten years ago, and Lord I hated it.  It was the first time I begrudged the IMDb's 1-10 rating scale; I wanted to give it a zero, dammit!
Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #3. Posted on August 17, 2007, 10:44:01 PM by Andrew
I watched this one about ten years ago, and Lord I hated it.  It was the first time I begrudged the IMDb's 1-10 rating scale; I wanted to give it a zero, dammit!

You do mean this film and not "Prototype X29A," right?  The robots are different, but the plot is very similar.  Not surprising if you look at the writer/director for both films.  Still, this one is much better than "Prototype X29A" if my memory is working correctly.
Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #4. Posted on August 18, 2007, 08:39:15 AM by nshumate
No, I mean this one.  (Seen 'em both.) The inane fix-it-in-post voiceover that manages to bugger the narrative up even further, the "belligerence instead of characterization" script, the time travel "logic" that makes Back to the Future look like it sprang from the brain of Stephen Hawking... Ugh.
Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #5. Posted on August 18, 2007, 11:45:22 AM by Flangepart
Time Travel.
Time travel stories make my shorts bunch up. Logical progression,cause and effect? Sorry, we can't handle that.
Intresting bot design,yeah. Everything else about this fell through a wormo hole on bizzaro world...
Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #6. Posted on August 19, 2007, 09:00:51 AM by BoyScoutKevin
Another good one from Andrew. I don't want to cause him too much pain, but he really ought to watch more bad "bad" movies. It brings out the best in him.
Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #7. Posted on August 20, 2007, 02:20:43 PM by Raffine
Natasha: "You still didn't answer my question. Why did you call me your wife?"
Nicholas: "'Cause in another time you are my wife."

This, or a variation on it, would make a great pickup line in a bar.

"Hey, baby! You know, in an alternate time line you and me are sooo doin' it!"
Re: A.P.E.X.
Reply #8. Posted on August 21, 2007, 07:54:19 PM by Doc Daneeka
Refreshing to see a movie on the front page that wasn't pimped out for weeks on the forum! And a two slimer, don't think I've seen that in a while! Wink BounceGiggle
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