Why do they think they call it a numb-bug? It’ll go away in a few hours, but you can go away now.
Sometimes you watch a film that leaves you breathless. You have just spent 90 or so minutes watching one of the most visually stunning and engrossing movies with characters that grow to love. These are the films where you want to watch it over and over again and the best thing is that more often than not, they are the films where you want to watch them over and over and over again because you don’t want to miss anything.
This is not one of those films!
I have films that waste my time. There are a few films that I have reviewed on here in the past that fall into this category because they are so stupid, dull or anything of a similar nature and this falls into the same category as Frank, Zombie Apocalypse, The Proposition and the ultimate time-waster of a film, “Night of the Living Dead : Resurrection”
This film does very little to actually try and entertain you, or even be clever. At least some of the aforementioned had the ambition behind, such as Frank. I absolutely hated Frank, couldn’t stand it, but at least it tried to be ambitious.
Infact, I would actually go as far as to say that this is actually a propaganda style film to try and encourage American kids to join their army when they grow up.
In 2021 aliens attack Earth and kill most of the world’s population but they eventually find a way to hold the aliens at bay. Several aliens have been trapped on Earth and therefore outposts are set up in various places around the globe just incase they decide to attack. In 2033, twelve years after the attack, a camera crew follows an American outpost in Pakistan that are fighting the aliens.
Whilst fighting off violent locals, strange events start occurring, including goats having their throats cut in the middle of the night. Whilst investigating this, North (Holmes) is kidnapped by the aliens, the first event of it’s nature.
Soon after attacks increase and the group find themselves struggling to stay alive as more and more aliens converge on their position.
Pure and unadulterated rubbish
This. Was. Shit!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film with the word “alien in the title” with so little footage of aliens in the film. I write notes as I’m watching the film and sometimes full sentences/paragraphs and at the time of writing this one I am 63 minutes into a 92 minute film and guess what the cumulative time of aliens being on the screen is…….a whopping 27 seconds. Even in places where there is a perfect opportunity to have aliens, there isn’t.
In the first battle you don’t see what they’re firing at other than a random blur in the distance. Takes out any real tension, especially towards the end of that battle when it shows that they aren’t actually fighting aliens as an Asian man jumps over the wall and is quickly shot down. Don’t me wrong, films with a theme involving aliens don’t necessarily require aliens appearing on a regular basis to be interesting as the rest of the plot makes up for it.
One of my favourite films about aliens in recent years was Peter Jackson’s “District 9” and the “prawns” in that don’t actually appear that much. The story is driving by an excellent performance by Sharlto Copley as Wikus” and he’s fear as he starts turning into a “prawn” drives that film forward. Another example is “Monsters”, a film where you don’t see the aliens until pretty much the final 10 minutes.
If done correctly, you don’t need to overload us with sightings of the aliens, you really don’t, but this film fails miserably. Not a single one of the characters is developed properly. The interview segments are supposedly to let you see the soldiers in a more human context, but it fails miserably. One character’s development stops and ends with him saying that his misses his mother’s cooking.
A character dies in the first battle but you don’t care because you know sod all about that character. Infact, at the time of writing this sentence I am 47 minutes into the film and whilst I know one fact about most of the characters, simply knowing a fact isn’t even to get me emotionally involved in the story.
If this isn’t a film designed to get kids interested in going to war for the US then I’d be amazed. It does everything in it’s power to try and give the impression the America are the ultimate heroes, right from every character in the army that it follows being like a superhero, and the incredibly racist stereotype of virtually every single one of the Asians that appears in the film being a violent, uncaring person that only wants to kill Americans. It even has a kid exploding the style of a suicide-bomber.
This isn’t the only example of a non-American character killing others though as later on in the film a character called Saleem gets his mind taken over by the aliens and he starts killing people on the base. So in the first hour of the film there are three people who kill other human characters, and all of the characters that kill someone are Asian. Don’t get me wrong, the Americans are hardly likely to kill each other.
There is precisely zero mention of any other country putting up a fight against the aliens. The film leads you to believe that it is literally only America that are fighting, with a few soldiers who have joined the American army from around the world. Am I really supposed to believe that America would be the only country in the world that would give enough of a shit about what happened to set up a defensive network? No. Just no!
For me one of the biggest crimes is that the film is just exceptionally dull. It wasn’t even a short term thing or something I only noticed late on, but even just 14 minutes in I was wanting this film to end, and that was with nearly 80 minutes still to go. You shouldn’t want a film to end when it’s not even 1/6 of the way through, you really shouldn’t.
I was just bored to tears. Documentary style films don’t have to be boring, for example, one of my favourite documentary style films is the Eugene Levy spoof “Best in Show” and that does it perfectly because even though it’s about a dog show (similar to Crufts), it’s done in such a way that it actually makes it interesting, even taking out the comedy. Even in the main battle at the end it continues the trend from earlier in the film where it doesn’t show you what they’re shooting at. They could be shooting at a bunch of kittens for all we know. The aliens rarely appear even in this part of the film.
I’m not sure which I ended up caring less about, the aliens of the humans, I couldn’t care less if every single one of them died. The aliens weren’t really intimidating or awe-inspiring, and the humans were about as far from interesting as Patrick Stewart is from being described as “hairy”. The aliens don’t even look realistic, or even slightly intimidating. In many ways they just look like they’ve gone down to the local gym, got the guys with the biggest muscles there, put a bit of make up on them, as well as one or two minor prosthetics and just said “walk towards them”,
There is also the bizarre trailer that loses all credibility within seconds of the film start. The trailer clearly says that the film is set in 2031, but within seconds of the film starting it says it’s 2033. How can I take a film seriously where they can’t even get the trailer to match up with the actual film in the basic terms?
This should really have been called “The American Army : The Movie”. It has all kinds of racist stereotypes about non-Americans in the film and it is quite tedious to watch it try and give the message “America Good, Everything Else Bad!”
My biggest problem with the film however is that it is just dull as hell. It’s 92 minutes long and so little actually happens and when it does, it doesn’t last long and is too little, too late. It tries to develop characters to a point where you care but it fails miserably.
Don’t waste your time.