07th Dec2020

‘The Blackout: Invasion Earth’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Aleksey Chadov, Pyotr Fyodorov, Svetlana Ivanova, Lukerya llyashenko | Written by llya Kulikov | Directed by Egor Baranov

Leave it to the bloody Russians to show everyone how to make an epic alien invasion flick… Over the years I have become aware of the fascinating knack that our friends over in Russia have of making just the most outlandish awesome epic movies. Night Watch and Day Watch are two of my favorite “vampire” movies (I’m still not sure they are vampires) out there. Earlier this year Why Don’t you Just Die came out which was a hell of a good time and I refuse to apologies for getting some guilty pleasure from that semi super hero flick Guardians.

I think the reason they are so good at making these epic movies so well is because they either don’t care about budget or they are just amazing at stretching their budget… that and the copious amounts of vodka I like to stereotypically think they drink. With all of these things in mind it was time to sit down and watch The Blackout: Invasion Earth, the latest alien invasion movie to come out of mother Russia…

Right let me see if I can unpack the basic plot of The Blackout: Invasion Earth without to many spoilers – mainly because writer llya Kulikov and director Egor Baranov threw everything including the kitchen sink at this film! OK… So… As I understand it humanity has pretty much been killing itself over the last however-many years (this is the plot of the movie now, not a social fleeting comment). We have slowly but surely been wiping ourselves out and all that really remains are select colony’s and one big area on the outskirts of Russia called “The Circle of Life”. Things begin to happen as folks venture outside; finding many, many, dead folks until a visitor appears… an alien claiming to have the answers of how to survive. A fragile alliance is formed as they unite to face a common enemy and we learn that maybe we are more alike than we thought and maybe, just maybe, this alien race has been with us longer than we thought.

Honestly, I don’t actually know what the hell to say apart from The Blackout: Invasion Earth is bat-sh*t insane, utterly crazy, bonkers, fun; and it actually felt like the shortest 127-minute movie I have endured. There is a bucket-load of money on show here and not a penny was wasted, as this film looks gloriously cinematic! I won’t bother trying to put actors names to characters because no doubt someone will pick up on a wrong name. What I will say though is that everyone is putting in one hell of a performance. I legitimately couldn’t point a finger at a bad role in this. The story is as out there as you would hope and the action sequences, including fight choreography, are really good.

Now for some really fun stuff… again trying to avoid spoilers. The world building and mythological groundwork this movie puts on show is outrageously in depth. We are talking the big bang; religion; the illusion of free will and Gods amongst mortals. REALLY biblical-type stuff. One minute I’m watching aliens invade Earth and the next I’m watching a documentary giving me the answers to the meaning of life! I will say this towards the creative team on this… I am impressed with your testicular fortitude on attempting to pull this off.

Easily better than most Hollywood guff coming out over the last few years; way more grandiose than it needed to be, very rich in story and “the little details”, good action, good acting and yeah a really good time. Do yourself a favour and watch The Blackout: Invasion Earth with the subtitles because I did 10 minutes with English dub and it was pretty off-putting!

**** 4/5

The Blackout: Invasion Earth is released on DVD and Digital on December 28th.

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