That a title like Stonehenge Apocalypse is a made-for-TV movie should come as no surprise. That Stonehenge Apocalypse managed to attract an audience of 2.1 million (that’s more than the population of Slovenia, by the way) at its premiere really should. That Stonehenge Apocalypse seems to have been storyboarded on sugar-paper, written in finger-paint, and conceived using PVA glue and half-watched Steven Seagal films as contraceptives, should serve as a warning to never ever waste your eyes on it.
Jacob Glaser (Collins) is a former science nerd/genius turned pseudo-scientist who runs a talk radio show where he spouts conspiratorial crap, presumably to an audience of stoned yoga teachers and overweight White Dwarf subscribers. He’s like a more photogenic version of George Galloway. His Copernican break with rhyme and reason revolves around the electromagnetic energy fields that occur throughout the world. These energy fields are connected to things like pyramids. And Stonehenge. And Stonehenge has peculiarly begun to move around of its own accord, and it has already vaporised some hapless tourists.
Will Glaser be able to convince a team of ‘real’ super-stern-faced scientists that Stonehenge is a key to an alien terraforming device connected to all those other historical sites, with the objective of modifying the planet for new forms of life? Is this plausible? While Stonehenge continues to move around, and these other sites begin exploding and burning and killing people at weirdly regular intervals, will this crack team be able to stop the rot? Are we even paying attention?
Unfortunately, Stonehenge Apocalypse includes none of the juicy bits of apocalyptic scenarios. We all know the drill: retina-lashing and limb-ripping explosions, mountainous body counts, and stirring pre-battle speeches ripped straight out of the St. Crispin’s Day rulebook. It sacrifices these pleasures in favour of a poorly organised tour of sci-fi platitudes – dour geeks in white coats with all the sex appeal of the amoebas they should be studying, obediently buzz-cut soldiers, inexplicably advanced technology.
Most importantly, though, for a movie, it shows an utter disregard for the dimensions of time and space (these being, y’know, the means by which we perceive things).
Somehow, Glaser, obligatory attractive scientist Dr. Leeds (Higginson) and a nameless jittery military type manage to get from Salisbury to New York while faced with a severe time constraint – there’s just 10 hours to spare before an imminent explosion. While these characters manage to cheerfully circumvent check-ins, customs, visas and jet lag, Stonehenge Apocalypse is ultimately like being strip-searched while you have the flu; glutinous and sore, it’s unpleasant to watch, but probably even more soul-destroying to be a part of.