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Occupation Blu-ray/DVD/VOD

Sunday, 03 March 2019 14:30

“Occupation” is an Australian sci-fi film about a town’s efforts to resist a devastating alien invasion. The townsfolk are up in arms about a new road bypass potentially wiping them off the map, but that is the least of their worries when an alien fleet arrives during an Aussie football game, flanked by a gigantic mothership. Outgunned by a technologically superior foe, the survivors have no option but to retreat and then devise a plan to fight back.

The cast includes Dan Ewing (Home and Away), Temuera Morrison (“Aquaman”, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”), Stephany  Jacobsen (“Alex Cross”, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Charles Mesure (Once Upon a Time, The Magicians). Writer/director Luke Sparke (“Red Billabong”) will return with a sequel called “Occupation Rainfall”, commencing shooting later this year.

This movie is technically very impressive, especially if the rumoured budget of $6 million is accurate. There are a ton of SFX shots featuring quality CGI, more explosions than the average Michael Bay film and some great design work on the alien ships, hardware and suits of armour (which reminded me a bit of Doctor Who’s Ice Warriors crossed with the Wraith grunts from Stargate: Atlantis).

There are some exciting action sequences including a very tense battle between a couple of alien soldiers and some survivors in a derelict house, and the opening attack which sees the town pulverised by alien fighters. Some of the action scenes are a bit samey and start to lose impact but they remain impressively mounted. Slo-mo is utilised liberally for extra effect.

The characters and acting are variable, and whilst the script does its best to pull the heart-strings, I found myself a little disinterested in whether most of the cast lived or died.

The soundtrack by Christopher Elves is big and bold but does not quite dovetail with the small-town scale of the action; the score echoes the aforementioned Mr Bay’s bombastic output such as the “Transformers” movie series. Elves composed music for Transformers: Rescue Bots, so perhaps the influence of fellow composer Steve Jablonsky rubbed off on him?

The film briefly dips its toe into potentially more interesting subject matter such as where to draw the line in the methods employed to hit back at the aliens, and even the lasting effects of sports-related head injuries, but these themes would be better suited to a TV series like Falling Skies rather than a punchy two-hour movie.

Ultimately one has to question whether the film was worth making when the likes of “Independence Day”, “District 9” and the brace of “Skyline” pictures have already done the subject to death, and “Occupation” fails to bring anything particularly new to the table. I quite enjoyed it and it is well made but is that enough?

There are no special features on the Blu-ray and DVD discs.

"Occupation" (2018) is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD, courtesy of Altitude Film Entertainment. The main feature has a running time of 119 minutes approx, carries a '15' certificate and is available to rent or buy from £3.49, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Monday, 04 March 2019 14:41