“There’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!” Those were the words of “Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) in the 1997 blockbuster sci-fi flick Men in Black. While Kay’s words were in the context of his conversation with Jay (Will Smith), it is a line that applies in the bigger picture of the science fiction film realm, including mpi/Sony/Columbia Pictures recently released flick Attraction 2: Invasion. This movie is sadly one of those works that people would be better off not knowing about. Released domestically July 21 on Blu-ray, the movie offers little for audiences to enjoy other than its special effects and maybe its story. Those two elements are its only saving graces. Its pacing meanwhile poses the biggest problem for its presentation. It will be addressed here, too. Each item noted here plays its own important part to the whole of this movie. All things considered, they make Attraction 2: Invasion a movie that audiences really would be better off not seeing.
mpi/Sony/Columbia Pictures’ recently released sci-fi import Attraction 2: Invasion is a largely forgettable work that even sci-fi fans will find difficult to take in. That is not to say it is a complete loss. It does have at least one semi-positive in its story. The story is relatively easy to follow as long as one pays full attention. Yulya (Irina Starshenbaum) is caught in the middle of a conflict between her nation’s military and an aritificial intelligence from another world. The military just wants to use her for her superhuman abilities, which she gained in the movie’s predecessor, while the AI wants her dead. Though, it’s never fully explained why it wants her dead. Caught up in the conflict is her alien boyfriend Artyom (Alexander Petrov). His addition to the story is where things start to get a bit contrived. The couple’s relationship, set against the conflict, lends itself to comparisons to the Twilight movie franchise, thus causing some problems in its own right. As the story progresses, it is revealed that in order to beat the alien AI, the humans have to make do with analog and ditch their digital technology. That is because that technology is what led to all the problems in the first place, as audiences will find out if they even take the time to watch this movie. If that sounds familiar, it should. It is a direct rip-off of the same story element from Independence Day. This causes even more problems for the story. Add in the confusion that is caused in the story’s conclusion and what audiences get is a story that on the surface is easy to understand, but is still rife with problems. While the story that is featured in Attraction 2: Invasion something of a mixed bag presentation, the story’s pacing is nothing but problematic.
The pacing of Attraction 2: Invasion’s story is problematic in that it moves so slowly. The first roughly hour-and-a-half of this story is just buildup that is accompanied by an ongoing chase scene and commentary about the dangers of digital media. Considering everything we as Americans know about Russia’s clear interference in the 2016 election, it is somewhat ironic that this Russian import is sending such a message. It is not until the third and final act that this two-hour, 13-minute movie finally picks up. Even when it does, it still manages to drag on and build up to its conclusion. Simply put, this movie, which clocks in at just over two hours, finds every opportunity to drag. As a result, this concern and those raised by the story couple to make the movie that much less worth watching. Of course, for all of the problems that this story poses, it does have at least one positive – its special effects.
The special effects that are featured in Attraction 2: Invasion are outstanding. From the giant alien ship to Artyom’s “space cycle” vehicle thing, to the use of the cinematography in the chase scenes and so much more, the special effects rival anything featured in any of Hollywood’s biggest summer blockbusters. The explosions are just as big and the use of something like giant video screens on buildings just as spectacular. The final scene in which the giant AI ship starts sucking the water up and flooding the city’s center is just as immense and intense as any similar scene from so many Hollywood sci-fi flicks. Simply put, this movie shines thanks to its special effects. They are everything that action and sci-fi fans have come to expect from any blockbuster. Sadly though, they are about all that this movie has to fully boast. Sure, its story is simple to follow, but it is problematic in its own right, as is the story’s pacing. All things considered, the movie really does prove agent Kay’s statement from Men in Black: The only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!”
Mpi/Sony/Columbia Pictures’ Russian sci-fi import Attraction 2: Invasion is a movie that action and sci-fi fans are better off not watching. It does offer a story that is easy to follow. The problem is that the story comes across at least in part as some kind of Twilight rip-off, considering the unnecessary romance subplot that puts our heroine and her love interest in the middle of a conflict between the two opposing sides. What’s more, the plot element involving using analog tech in place of digital as a means to defeat the AI is itself a rip-off of a key element from another well-known sci-fi alien invasion blockbuster. The story’s pacing causes watching this movie painful, even though it runs just over two hours. The movie feels like it runs two-and-a-half hours instead of just over two hours because of the pacing. The only real saving grace to this movie is its special effects, which rival those of any Hollywood blockbuster. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this movie. All things considered, the movie is a presentation that audiences will find better off unknown and unwatched.
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