DIRECTOR: Tom Green
SCREENPLAY: Jay Basu & Tom Green
STARRING: Johnny Harris, Sam Keeley, Joe Dempsie
RUNNING TIME 119mins
Reviewed by Guy Adams
You’ve had great success with your sci-fi monster movie, a film that relied on suspense and horrific potential, where the alien is barely glimpsed until the final reel. So how do you follow it up? Throw some testosterone-packed soldiers at it, it worked for James Cameron.
And it almost works for Tom Green.
A war movie, following a group of soldiers from Detroit sent on a rescue mission – after interminable scenes of shouting at hookers’ breasts and exhibiting more machismo than a weight-lifting testicle – where the threat is more human than alien. The world building is nicely done and, as with Gareth Edwards superb original, the blending of the fantastical with the realistic is effectively handled. The movie also looks wonderful, offering both landscapes and creatures that bring a sense of awe to the screen.
Where the movie suffers is in its unlikeable and shallow characters. Realistic they may be and unlikeable isn’t a problem in and of itself, but when you don’t care about any of the people under threat, you’re left twiddling your thumbs waiting for the next bit of nice cinematography or alien set piece. Once the cast has been whittled down to those with enough heft to carry the action, things improve immeasurably but you’re in for an hour of dull roaring and swagger before you get there.
The movie is available in both a limited edition steel book, standard blu-ray and DVD and a double pack pairing it up with it’s vastly superior predecessor.