With all of the hallmarks of a Sci-Fi channel (I refuse to accept that stupid new spelling) film, “Fire Serpent” is what it is. Featuring cast-offs from other genre shows – in this case Nicholas Brendon from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and Robert Beltran from “Star Trek: Voyager” battling a horribly-CGIed monster, it delivers on exactly the level one would expect. Perhaps better.
As a wildfire rages, Jake (Brendan) witnesses his partner’s death at the hands of a blaze that seemingly attacked him. Dutch (“Emergency’s” Randolph Mantooth), who has seen the beast before, convinces Jake that the blaze, which seems to be able to sustain itself and rekindle anywhere at anytime is actually a shape-shifting fire beast from the sun, here to destroy the earth. They eventually convince federal agent Christina (“Resident Evil: Apocalypse’s” Sandrine Holt) to join them and find themselves thwarted by the FBI’s Agent Cooke (Beltran) in what is actually a pretty interesting twist for a Sci-Fi flick. Seeing the creature as a biblical angel, Cooke, would just as soon do the Lord’s will here on Earth.
The interesting twist to the story notwithstanding, the execution is poor at best. The dialog is lousy, most of the acting is phoned in, the CGI is nominally better than a lot of Sci-Fi fare ad the one interesting side story that they introduce is left to come to a hollow and unfitting conclusion. Even the final, climactic show down is a weak display, followed by an obvious cliffhanger ending.
Somehow – I’m not even sure how – the movie entertained me, though. Things move along nicely, with few lulls in the action and Beltran’s character even manages to add an air of suspense to the usual straightforward monster flick meme. It isn’t high art and there are certainly better monster movies out there. But there are also certainly worse.