I have a confession to make: I have never played a single Metal Gear or Metal Gear Solid game. I have played one of Kojima's games, the excellent Snatcher on Sega CD, but Snake's tactical espionage action adventures have never been set before me. Now, after watching an awesome fan made movie, I feel like it's my duty to play Metal Gear.

For the uneducated, Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy is an Italian fan made movie project by a group called Hive Division. In the movie, Snake is sent on a mission to rescue a senator by the senator's son, and instead of being sent off alone like in the games, he is assigned two partners: a female warrior

Spoiler ->who seems to have the ability to knock people out by staring at them

and a sniper who in his first appearance is playing Animal Crossing on a DS Lite. Yes, MGS' trademark humor is present...sort of. By the second half of the movie it turns extremely serious, and almost all traces of the humor leave. It's also the first part of a trilogy, and the second and third parts have yet to even be filmed.

As a fan production, the movie looks brilliant. Every shot is amazingly done, and it almost feels like the video game at times. The familiar codec screen is even present in some shots. The soundtrack is great as well. Effects wise, it pulls them off good, although the CGI rendered Metal Gears that appear do look a little bit off animation wise. Considering the supposed $10,000 budget this was made on, though, the effects are an astounding feat. One interesting thing is that instead of having the actors speak, it seems that instead they had the voices dubbed over in post editing. This may sound like it's a bad HK movie style dub, but it actually works here because the actors presumably mouthed/said the dialogue and then the dubbing was added. The voice actor for Snake sounds dead on, but unfortunately no other familiar characters from MGS are present, just new faces.

I find MGS: Philanthropy to be a sign of one thing: Fans can make better video game movies than Hollywood. Why? Because they know the material better and know what other fans want to see. Even Kojima himself praised the movie. I don't think that an MGS movie by some big name director in Hollywood could come close to being as good as this.

You can check out the movie for free here. There's also artwork, the soundtrack, and trailers available for download. Oh, and be sure to stay after the credits for a rather funny blooper reel.