Thursday, 18 October 2018

Occupation: DVD Review

Occupation: DVD Review

There's a great deal of set-up present in Occupation, a B-movie film that in truth, feels more suited as a pilot for a low budget cable channel, rather than a proposed franchise.

With a sequel in the works already, this alien invasion film does little to rise above its early aspirations - the opening 15 minutes set up the protagonists in Australia who will come under attack.

Occupation: Film Review

There's the nuclear family, headed by Tem's just-out-of-prison dad (let's side step why the brown fella in the white cast had to be the former crim); there's the comeback rugby captain whose last tackle saw him in a coma; there's the just-found-out-I'm-going-to-be-a-dad jock, and a whole cast of other cliches coming together in a small Aussie town.

But when the town comes under attack, the disparate group must throw aside its problems and conflicts (for now, until the narrative demands they be rebirthed later) to face off against the aliens.

Occupation has some pretty damn impressive FX for the B-movie budget.

Certainly, the first scenes where the lights are glimpsed across the hills plays on the likes of Close Encounters before segueing into Independence Day as the attack begins.

While the invaders appear to be nothing more than a space-age version of Knights with some truly awful stock-standard alien heads beneath their masks, the film's motives for their invasion are so rote they date back to the likes of The Invaders TV show.

Occupation: Film Review

But Sparke's less interested in reinventing the wheel, preferring to set up a franchise and further the films than provide depth to the characters. In fairness, Morrison has genuine warmth as the stepdad who wants to protect his brood, but he, like the rest of the cast, can do little to lift the script from its depths.

With corny cheeseball one-liners and a feeling there's nothing new here to say (even the Aussie flag hoisted high as the one-last-desperate-push into battle takes place is more laughable than stirring), Occupation unfortunately makes little case for a film series.

Despite its high gloss FX and scope, the familiar is what drags Occupation down to ground - sure, B Movie aspirations are fine, but either fully embrace them or aim higher. Sadly, Occupation does neither of these and flounders as a result. 

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