Promising concept, and the various teasers on this movie that I have been subjected to suggested that this movie would promise excitements and suspense for a yet another alien invasion movie. Sadly to say that I have been thoroughly disappointed. Not only does it fails to charm me, the movie totally lacks the sparks and excitements due to a poor storytelling and generally “quiet” tone of the entire movie. This, despite having scored by Tyler Bates. Problem is I think, could be pointed slightly toward behind the camera although to be fair, virtually nobody in front of the camera did something worthwhile to save the movie anyway. This reminds me of 2010’s “Skyline,” which also a movie about alien invasion, and also terrible in execution. Even if it is slightly better than aforementioned movie, I would suggest to save yourself a ninety minutes of your life. You wouldn’t miss a thing.
Emile Hisch and Max Minghella, quite probably the only casts that matter from this movie, is Sean and Ben, an American duo on a business trip to Moscow, Russia. They met a couple of girls, also American, Anne and Natalie. But as they were seemingly hit it off and about to have some good time, the lights went out, and some brilliant orange lights descended from above. These are aliens (though they don’t know about it just yet), almost invisible, and evaporates any living beings it touches. The rest of the movie is then about survival and a fight back.
I had decided that I’m not going to like this movie when the first act concludes. This is when our protagonists were shown what the aliens are capable to do. At this point, the first act has failed to keep my interest aloof on the characters, nor for me to get excited about the conflict which the movie has to offer. And I’m losing my patience at an alarming rate. I don’t care anymore about how the movie is going to end and I had a pretty good idea on how it would end. But of course, I stayed until the end, and I was right. The movie ends at an absolute flatline where it’s cold, and has an alluring quality as much as going out to jog on a rainy and miserable morning after having only three to four hours of sleep the night before.
What I really don’t like about this movie is the direction and the cinematography. It was bland, and largely uninspiring. I’m really not sure how to put this into words but suffice it to say that for me, it was a foregone conclusion from the moment our principal casts encountered the sentient being slowly drifted down from above, almost gracefully like the fall of a first snowflake (not that I’ve ever seen one, mind you, just saying). The crowd was there, the curious spectators, a lowly paid (or even no-paid) extras, the expendable ones, craning their heads to get a better look, while a certain authority figure trying his best to protect the civilians by poking into the wall of invisible light (bad idea). From this scene, I’ve got no urgency vibe whatsoever from it. Instead of watching a scene and getting nervous which surely what the filmmaker had intended the scene to be, I was getting a feel that I’m watching a scene of an utterly dry standing comedian trying and failing so hard to impress the audiences. And the audiences are merely stood there, knowing that there are no punchline to be delivered but stood there because they had been paid to do just so. It was sad.
The rest of the movie went almost as bland. Not even a scene of desolate and empty streets of Moscow could reignite the spark. It was already long gone, and dead upon arrival.
Oh, and don’t get me started about the casts. They are annoying, and I’ve got no sympathy to any of them. I’m actually cheered when one of them get wasted. And another. And another. You should’ve been very much able to guess which one of the cast to survive. No problem there.