13th Nov2019

‘Eternal Code’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Richard Tyson, Scout Taylor-Compton, Billy Wirth, Yan Birch, Mel Novak, Erika Hoveland, Angelina Danielle Cama, Damien Chinappi | Written and Directed by Harley Wallen


One man production team Harley Wallen is back with his latest opus, Eternal Code, in which he stars as well as writing and directing. The film tells the story of a genetic research company who, breaking all moral and ethical codes, has developed a miracle device to sustain human life for the rich and powerful.

When the company’s CEO (Erika Hoveland) refuses to approve these illegal methods, she and her husband (Billy Wirth) are kidnapped by a team of mercenaries (Scout Taylor-Compton, Harley Wallen) hired by Oliver (Richard Tyson) to keep them out of the way. Fearing for her parents’ lives, their teenage daughter (Angelina Danielle Cama) must develop an unlikely ally (Damien Chinappi) to save her parents from those who would kill to live forever.

It would seem that no genre is out of bounds for filmmaker Wallen, we’ve had family films, action movies, horror films and now we have a sci-fi medical thriller in the vein of Coma. This time round Wallen plays one of the villains of the piece – which is yet another one of his huge ensemble pictures, with recurring cast members Richard Tyson, Yan Birch, Wallen’s wife and production partner Kaiti Wallen and Calhoun Koenig, all appearing and all of whom have worked numerous times with Wallen in the past.

We also get appearances from Mel Novak, Vida Ghaffari and Damien Chinappi – who worked with Wallen on Betrayed and here plays the underdog hero role as a homeless vet whose life intersects with Erika Hoveland’s CEO when he helps her daughter free her from the clutches of mercenaries Wallen and Scout Taylor-Compton (Rob Zombie’s Halloween). Yes it’s a ridiculous contrivance that a homeless vet would cross paths with a young girl then turn out to be the man she needs to in a desperate situation, but it’s no waorse than a cop cught in a skyscraper that’s being robbed by fake terrorists!

Like a LOT of Wallen’s films, Eternal Code is essentially a number of stories in one, coming together part way through the story and evolving it into a much bigger tale. It’s seems to be something of a trademark of Wallen’s scripts that he tells smaller stories within each film, focussing on different themes he wants to highlight, parables he wishes to tell, making characters the focus rathet than action and, as usual, he ultimately brings everything together. His kind of storytelling can be hit or miss however, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

With Eternal Code it’s definitely the former. Wallen focusses on the plight of army vets abandoned by society, the idea of science going too far and doctors playing god, and brings it all together in what becomes something of a quasi-decent action film. Though like a lot of his movies Wallen focuses too much on dialogue rather than action, which in this case brings the pace of the film to a crawl – a lot of the times where excitement should be built, we get people thinking about what to do. It’s definitely words not deeds here!

There are glimmers of something greater in Eternal Code, it’s just that Wallen the writer and director needs to overcome his penchant for contrivances and his seeming love of dialogue and learn to tell stories with a bit more brevity and tighter pacing. If he’d have done that here and he could’ve really been on to a winner. Instead this is another middle-of-the-road affair.

Eternal Code is available on VOD now, including iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Vudu, and FandangoNow.


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