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Western Animation / Ultramarines

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"I am steel! I am doom! I march for Macragge! And I shall know no fear!!"

Ultramarines is an animated Warhammer 40,000 movie, released in 2010 by Codex Pictures, written by Dan Abnett and featuring the voices of Terence Stamp, Sean Pertwee, and John Hurt.

The remote planet Mithron is home to an Imperial shrine, guarded since time immemorial by a hundred Space Marines of the Imperial Fists Chapter. Now, however, the planet has gone silent, save for a single emergency beacon broadcasting a request for aid. The nearest battle-worthy force able to respond is the Second Company of the Ultramarines Chapter, and because they are busy with their own obligations (described in more detail in the prequel comic), the only forces that can be spared are a single Captain named Severus and the newly-minted Marines of Ultima Squad — including a young recruit named Proteus, who is a bit rough around the edges, but eager to prove himself on the battlefield. It now falls to Ultima Squad to solve the mystery of what happened to Mithron, without getting killed in the process.

Compare and contrast with Damnatus and The Lord Inquisitor, the other (fanmade) 40K movies.

Ultramarines provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: The prequel comic that comes with the Collector's Edition DVD explains the situation on Algol: why Proteus complains about the lack of glory there, why the Ultramarines can only spare a single squad to go investigate the situation on Mithron, and what happened to the original Ultima Squad.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the end of the movie, everyone with a name is dead except Proteus and Verenor, and maybe Nidon.
  • Bash Brothers: Proteus and Verenor.
  • Batman Gambit: The Daemon Prince's plan to deliver itself and the Liber Mithros to Macragge to unleash a Warp Gate to spread Daemons across the galaxy relies on the Ultramarines' sense of honor and devotion to duty. It knew the Ultramarines would respond to a distress signal if it left at least some survivors and possessed one of them to save the Ultramarines during a planned attack and kill off a suspected traitor to avoid suspicion.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted. It looks like Captain Severus pulls this to save the squad from the Black Legion assault, but it's really the daemon pursuing his Batman Gambit.
  • Bludgeoned to Death: The warhammer in the reclusiam has been used to slay "alien beasts and daemons alike." At the climax of the film, Proteus adds another daemon to its kill-tally.
  • Book Ends: The events in the Reclusiam.
  • Bottomless Magazines: A bolter magazine holds 30 rounds, and less than that for the pistols. The squad is firing on full-auto most of the time. Rarely will you see anyone reload, and no one ever runs out of ammo.
  • The Captain: Severus.
  • The Cassandra: If Pythol had been in command, ten less Space Marines would be dead and Macragge would have never been in danger. Lampshaded later on in a moment of grim humor:
    [running like mad to get to the extraction point with a hoard of Chaos Marines on their heels]
    Proteus: I bet you're happy.
  • Chainsaw Good: Captain Severus wields a chainsword to deadly effect.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: The warhammer, the banner attracting balefire, the chainsword, the act of using a nearby helmet to brain an opponent who has you pinned...
  • Corpse Land: Mithron ends up revealed as one of these as a Warp Gate opening over Mithron released legions of Daemons and Chaos Space Marines who shredded, mutilated, and killed all but two of the 100 Imperial Fist stationed there.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pythol gets a few moments of this:
    Proteus: The Emperor protects.
    Pythol: Having a loaded bolter never hurt either.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The daemon "borrows" Captain Severus's identity and face after killing him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Proteus does this in the climax facing off against a Daemon Prince, an Eldritch Abomination of the warp that is a One-Man Army and in terms of power is only surpassed by Greater Daemons and the Chaos Gods themselves. Proteus takes the shrine's warhammer to the motherfucker's skull.
  • Dwindling Party: By the time the film ends, two characters out of an original twelve make it out alive.
  • Eye Awaken: A Chaos Marine killed by the Ultramarines does this, complete with zoom-in and eyes lighting up again.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: Despite having no backpack tank the damaged space marine flamethrower explodes like a bomb.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Boltguns as featured in the tabletop game can't actually punch clean through power armor. At least, not with any level of reliability.
  • Glory Seeker: All the new Marines of Ultima Squad, really, but especially Proteus. Only rejecting it prevents him from becoming a daemonhost in a moment of weakness.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: A lot of the people killed by the daemon get these, including Severus and Pythol. Notably counterbalanced by all the gory non-discretion shots.
  • Guns Akimbo: One unnamed member of the Black Legion.
  • Honor Before Reason: Severus will complete the mission, dammit. Proteus, even more so.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Every Black Legionnaire is a proud graduate, despite no longer being Imperial Stormtroopers. Then again, they wanted Ultima to get the relic off-planet.
    • Also, the Black Legion are trying to fire at full sprint, while Ultima squad are either standing still or slowly falling back.
    • Ultima squad too during several other firefights, but this is actually something of a case of Reality Is Unrealistic. Depending on environmental and situational factors, for every casualty inflicted a Real Life military force can expect to lay out one to three thousand rounds, most of which is suppression or covering fire (which the Marines yell for at least once or twice) which is basic spray-and-pray to just get the enemy to keep their heads down.
  • Ironic Echo: "Yield to me."
    • "Everything has a purpose."
  • Marked Bullet: "Kill the Heretic".
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The most sacred artifact in the strike cruiser's reliquary? A warhammer.
    • The stained glass of the Reclusiam is a perfect rendition of the art on the front of the Battle for Macragge starter set.
  • New Meat: Brother Proteus.
  • No-Respect Guy: Apothecary Pythol. He catches crap from everyone, even Captain Severus.
  • Punctuated Pounding: How Proteus finishes off the Daemon Prince when using a hammer.
    "I am steel! I am doom! I march for Macragge! And I KNOW NO FEAR!"
  • Running Gag: "The Emperor protects...but it doesn't hurt to have [insert useful, common-sense piece of battlefield kit here] either."
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: A fair number of them.
    • Pythol is clearly the oldest of the Marines, and is also the most cautious, the least interested in glory, and the most cynical about their chances.
    • Brother Nidon of the Imperial Fists is the one in charge of protecting the shrine's relic. The task has clearly taken its toll on his emotional state, and seeing 98 of his Battle Brothers get slaughtered can't have helped matters. Turns out he's no heretic, though.
    • According to the prequel comic, Sergeant Crastor also qualifies, being the Sole Survivor of the original Ultima Squad. We don't really see enough of him in the movie for this characterization to shine through, though.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There is literally one female character in the entire story, and she doesn't even show up in the film itself, only in the prequel comic. Justified in that this is a story entirely about Space Marines, and Space Marines are a One-Gender Race.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: When upgrading to a chainsword.
  • Tranquil Fury: Severus when Ultima Squad prepares to keep going after the killing field where Guardsmen and a few Imperial Fists lie massacred.
    "That beacon may lead us to someone who can... explain."
  • Unwitting Pawn: Proteus. As the daemon points out, it only got as far as it did with Proteus's help.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So... are they just going to leave the Land Speeder there? Aren't those things expensive? And what happened to Nidon after he was knocked unconscious during the final battle?
    • Assuming Nidon survived, he likely would've been transferred back to the Imperial Fists. Probably with a few battle-honours earned, considering he helped put down a daemon.


Video Example(s):


Ultramarines vs Chaos Marines

A squad of Imperial Space Marines stand against a horde of Black Legion Chaos Space Marines

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / HoldTheLine

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