The Best and Worst Movies EVER Filmed at SFU Burnaby





The Fly 2


The film tells the story of Martin Brundle, a young man whose life changes when he mutates into a human-fly hybrid, a condition inherited from his father. The Burnaby campus shined as the ruthless Bartok Industries. The Convocation Mall, Freedom Square, and the inside of the AQ — specifically the corridor where IMAGES Theatre now resides — make up the cold, corporate facility where the young Brundle is treated like a lab rat.  Out of the movies filmed at SFU, this is my favourite because of its practical effects, rather than relying on CGI to get things done.



Underworld: Awakening


Kate Beckinsale, appearing as Selene, the good girl vampire, is awoken after a 12 year cryogenic sleep in Antigen’s (evil corporation alert!) laboratory — played by Burnaby Campus. Yes, once again, SFU plays an evil corporate science lab, with the Bennett Library portraying Antigen’s exterior. Unlike previous instalments, where Selene had only vampires and werewolves to deal with, now humans have evolved to bad guy status, and she has to kill them too. Other locations at Burnaby Campus that are featured include the Convocation Mall and Freedom Square, which give performances as a courtyard and security guard post for the main entrance into Antigen.  Even the side of the AQ that faces Freedom Square and the Convocation Mall are featured as the outside of an elevator shaft that leads into Antigen’s main building. Watch this film for a gritty performance by SFU Burnaby and to watch Beckinsale kick both supernatural and natural butt.



The Day the Earth Stood Still


An alien traveller named Klaatu, played by Keanu Reeves, arrives on Earth to start a phenomenon that will ultimately destroy all of humanity, unless Dr. Helen Benson, a scientist, can convince him otherwise. In the remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic, Klaatu is  yearning to understand what humanity is — while trying to destroy it to save the earth. The relationship between Benson and her stepson is quite touching, and Klaatu learns a bit of humanity (spoiler alert: humanity survives). Despite the convincing performance by Reeves as a largely emotionless alien, the best actor on screen is probably SFU — the Burnaby Campus makes an appearance as a military base. From what we’ve listed, it’s a deviation of sorts for the campus, instead of playing a cold, heartless evil corporation, it’s a cold heartless government base. Featured in the film are the Transportation Centre, Terry Fox Field, and Convocation Mall.




Agent Cody Banks


Cody Banks may appear to be an average school student, but he is really an operative for the CIA who is tasked with preventing the villainous plot of an evil and ambitious mastermind from taking shape.  Unfortunately, he also appears in a below average movie filled with clichés and a cheesy villain, that can’t be saved by a solid comedic performance by Frankie Muniz as Banks. The one saving grace is, you guessed it, SFU. The transportation centre on Burnaby campus is featured as the CIA “War Room”, while the AQ Pond is featured as the exterior for the CIA headquarters — where we catch a glimpse of Bennett Library and Convocation Mall. Also there’s presumable CIA agents riding hover scooters over the pond, so that was kind of cool.



MVP: Most Valuable Primate


Jack is a smart and humorous chimpanzee that has lived in the confines of some university.  When he finds out that he’s going to be sold to another university as a research subject, he flees and arrives in Nelson, BC, where he meets two siblings, named Steven and Tara.  Surprisingly enough, Jack has impressive skill in hockey and is soon trained by Steven’s hockey team to become the first chimpanzee hockey player. I found the film’s humour weak and characters underdeveloped. Although the film was not to my liking, SFU once again cheered me up a bit. Though the “some university” mentioned wants us to believe it’s some generic American university — even using an establishing shot of a different school — the interior is clearly SFU. Jack and his janitor friend (a friendship I didn’t buy) wash the floors of the AQ hallway in rollerblades, while the bad guys scheme in the AQ stairwell. Also Jack lives on the SFU Theatre stage — I guess he has a knack for the theatre.



The 6TH Day


When Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger) realizes that he has been cloned without his knowledge, he is suddenly being pursued by the very company that caused this ordeal.  Gibson must now find out how he got cloned in order to get to the truth. The film, like many Schwarzenegger vehicles, lacks character development, and has bad guys who seem only to exist to die by Schwarzenegger’s hands — and be conveniently cloned. Also the CGI sucked. But in what seems to be a recurring theme in these worst movies (and best), the one reason to watch is SFU — and it just might be worth it. In a brief scene, Schwarzenegger drives his car over the steps outside the AQ and through Convocation Mall. BONUS: Not SFU related, but look close at the end as the coliseum-like Vancouver Public Library is blown up, as it plays the bad guy’s headquarters.