19th Apr2015

‘Mankind’s Last Stand’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Adrian Paul, Brandon Auret, Reiley McClendon, Rick Ravanello, Douglas Tait, Joe Reegan, Nic Rasenti, Andy Davoli, Matthew Holmes, Sven Ruygrok, Scott E. Miller, Kenneth Fok, Darron Meyer | Written by Jabbar Raisani, Blake Clifton | Directed by Jabbar Raisani

MLS

Jabbar Raisani, a former visual effects maestro, who here turns director – makes his feature debut with a film that mixes a myriad of stereotypes and cliches of the alien invasion genre with the modern war movie (there’s a very good reason the film is described as Independence Day meets Black Hawk Down) in a faux-documentary that sees a camera crew join an elite unit of soldiers at Outpost 37, the most hostile region of what remains of our planet, as they face one of their greatest battles against the “Heavies” alien intruders who, a decade earlier, had invaded Earth with the intention of total annihilation.

Also known as Outpost 37 and Alien Outpost, Mankind’s Last Stand is – at its core – a low-budget re-telling of Battle: Los Angeles (didn’t we already get one of those from mockbuster kings The Asylum?) from the perspective of a camera crew interviewing those that had been through the F.E.W. (First Earth War) rather than actually showing the war from the midst of battle. Think of the types of news broadcast where the reporter talks to those after an incident has happened or – more aptly – the news anchor who stands miles from a battle, on top of a hill, and tries to tell the audience what’s happening without ever actually TRULY being there! That’s how this film feels, as least for the most part…

There are some flurries of action, the odd battle between the United Space Defense Force and the alien Heavies – which I still think is a terrible name for aliens, it makes them sound like wannabe gangsters not creature from another planet sent here to wipe us out – and some protracted gunfights with local insurgents but there was clearlyt not enough money in the budget to spring for the type of huge, awe-inspiring, all-out-war scenes that would have made for a much more thrilling experience.

In the end, Mankind’s Last Stand is a monotonous, often dull, take on the stereotypical alien invasion movie that looks and feels like a student film or the type of disappointing “indie” movie people are constantly trying to crowdfund on Kickstarter. Oh, and for those interested in seeing this film for an appearance by Highlander’s Adrian Paul – he’s voice one of the USDF General’s on the radio and is never seen on screen!

Mankind’s Last Stand is released on DVD on April 20th, courtesy of eOne.

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