Rick Jones II
The machinima world in general has come on a long way in
the last couple of years, from recording games of Quake to
actually making hour and a half long films. Rick Jones II
is one such film.
What do you get if you cross the 60's Batman series with Shaft?
Answer: "Rick Jones II". "Rick Jones II"
is a piece of machinima based around the life of a 70's style
cop made in Quake II by a machinima production company called
P1mpslap. For those of you who don't know what machinima is,
it's basically a film medium using 3D games such as Quake
II, Quake III Arena and Unreal to create a virtual world that
can be filmed - you might have seen recent films like "Quad
God" or "Father Frags Best", made in Quake
III and Quake II, respectively. For more information on these
types of movies, visit machinima.com.
scene from Rick Jones II
many of the early pieces of machinima the voice acting, if
any, was particularly poor, and it was only just possible
to make it out from the background sound effects anyway. "Rick
Jones II" is a fine example of the quality that has come
to be expected in the modern machinima community. There is
a wide variety of background music as you would expect from
any conventional film, and the voice acting, from Artaik (the
Pimp) in particular, is of a very high standard. For those
of you who have watched, or tried creating machinima before,
the range of unique animations within "Rick Jones"
is well worth looking out for. In fact, it is the animation
for which this film is claiming headlines in the machinima
community more than anything else.
The plot itself is far from groundbreaking: two cops find
drugs ring, investigation goes wrong, they get suspended but
carry on anyway... It's been seen a hundred times before,
but then that doesn't stop Hollywood attempting to make films
in that style, so why should it stop anyone else? Many of
the films in this genre have a comedic touch that keeps the
audience watching. If it weren't for the comedy films like
the "Lethal Weapon" series would not have done anywhere
near as well as they did, and this is the key issue. If a
film has these comedic touches, witty one-liners and the like
then people will enjoy watching it even if the plot itself
is nothing special. "Rick Jones II" falls firmly
within this group as the comedy aspects keep you coming back.
There are several references to other productions, some subtle,
others blatant. For example, the "Batman" fight scene is very
well placed and fits beautifully with the rest of the film.
The only downside to this is that not all of these references
will necessarally be fully appreciated by the audience. One
of the characters in particular involves what is very much
an in joke from the first "Rick Jones" movie and
a conversation between a couple of the creators. In general
if something seems just that little bit too bizarre then you
can be fairly sure it is a veiled reference to something else.
This can get a bit annoying but the film is well worth persevering
with as the majority of these references are fairly obvious
and none of them are in any way vital to understanding, or
enjoying the film.
do what he said if I were you.
Probably the most startling aspect of "Rick Jones II",
especially for those who have played a great deal of Quake
or Quake II is the atmosphere of the whole thing compared
to that of the original game from which it was made. Most
people could describe the feel of Quake II in one or two words,
dark or gothic, (or brown and green!) and to watch Rick Jones
II you would never know that they were in many ways one and
the same. Even "Quad God", another modern piece
of machinima, could be said to have fallen into this atmosphere
trap (although it should be noted that "Quad God"'s
appeal came from elsewhere). Gone are the brown and green
industrial textures, missile firing cyborgs and vast arsenals
of different weapons. In are offices, quiet streets and organised
crime syndicates. If you had to liken "Rick Jones II"
to another conventional peice of film, it would probably be
a cross between the 60's Batman series and Shaft. An odd combination
certainly, but one that appears to come off well. The openning
scene, in many ways, sets the level on which this film should
be viewed. If you are expecting a hugely complex plot with
more twists and turns than, well, something with lots of twists
and turns I suppose (that definitely didn't come out as well
as I was hoping) then "Rick Jones II" is probably
not for you. On the other hand if what you're looking for
is a light hearted piece of "super-fly" entertainment then
it's more than worthwhile looking into.
More "Rick Jones 2" and machinima info:
machinima.com's Rick Jones 2 "post-mortem"
- The "Rick Jones 2" homepage
- machinima.com's interview
with Anthony Bailey of Quake Done Quick
Questions? Comments? Rotten fruit? Send it all to feedback!