Film Review – Bunker: Project 12 (2016)

Title – Bunker: Project 12 (2016)

Director – Jaime Falero (El Clan)

Cast – James Cosmo, Joaquín Sánchez, Eric Roberts, Natasha Alam, Timothy Gibbs

Plot – Year’s after the Cold War, Russian Scientist Brian Balanowsky (Cosmo) is taken captive by a secretive group who need him to unlock Bunker 12, a bunker which houses potentially deadly weaponry.

“North Koreans are my friends”

Review by Eddie on 23/08/2018

Take one brief look at the synopsis for Bunker: Project 12 and you will quickly understand that you’re very much in B-grade movie territory, the type of landscape where you will need to switch your brain off and leave your better judgement at the door should you wish to enjoy the silly and budget-restrained goodies’ that a film such as this often entails.

To call Project 12 a good film would be a lie, but against all the odds, Jaime Falero’s high-concept action/thriller ends up being a film with enough neat ideas and scenarios to remain ever watchable, the perfect mindless film to put on for a rainy night and another chance to see Eric Roberts in one of the 100’s of film’s his seemingly appeared in over the last 12 – 18 months.

Interestingly for a film of Project 12’s ilk, Falero spends a large portion of the early runtime afforded to him to slow-build his narrative as a collection of long-hidden Russian scientists involved in top secret experiments during the Cold War are killed-off until the film then moves into more horror/thriller territory when James Cosmo’s soviet veteran Brian Balanowsky and a team of top-tier mercenaries enter into the fabled bunker to uncover its long dormant secrets.

It’s a wise move by Falero to build up to this moment as the action and effects work on show here aren’t much chop, no doubt hampered by a low-end budget, there’s just not the tools available for Falero to fully enact out the potential of Project 12’s idea, which is the type of idea you can see future film’s riffing off thanks to its potential to be a highly over the top yet also highly entertaining mix of action and thrills in a setting that feels ripe for such a set-up.

With limits to what the film can achieve with its production values and resources, it’s great to see the films cast have fun with what they’re given with Roberts, Cosmo and other cast members such as Joaquín Sánchez (who also co-writes) and Natasha Alam all understanding what they are a part of and delivering delightfully D-grade turns which helps make the film an at times laugh out loud experience with hilariously placed zingers and lines for the cast to deliver.

Final Say –

With TV movie of the week conception, Bunker: Project 12 is the type of film you’re likely to find on late night TV after the majority of us have gone to bed but with a fun concept and some hugely appealing ideas, Falero’s film may not be great, but it does offer some good fun along its journey.

2 flamethrowers out of 5

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