Released in the UK back in 2016 but only now finding its way to North America writer/director James Twyman’s film Invasion Earth gets off to a promising start. A couple on a motorcycle have a run-in with a laser-firing alien craft before meeting a horrific if unseen, fate.
Unfortunately, after the credits, we find ourselves at a youth therapy camp. Dr. Carson (David Shaw) is testing his new treatment on some young offenders who’ve opted for this instead of prison. Within minutes Derek (Darren James King, Looters, Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters), a Neo-Nazi complete with swastika tattoo is saying he’ll be going to jail. Because he’s not staying under the same roof as, as he puts it, a nigger.
Brace yourselves people, the next hour is this kind of adolescent angst and aggression. There’s the usual group of misfits, Vicky (Phoebe Delikoura) a teen star turned junkie, Simon ( Cameron Bell) who has gender issues, Ada (Charlotte Gould, Exit) a sex addict, you get the idea. There’s some side drama with a TV host played by Jon-Paul Gates (Dragon Kingdom, Doll Cemetery) trying to expose Carson. It’s barely passable as TV level drama. And it’s even less acceptable as the majority of what is supposed to be a sci-fi/action film.
Finally, just over an hour into Invasion Earth’s nearly two-hour runtime aliens start showing up. But even then, with one of them missing and another stabbed to death, they still bicker and argue among themselves. Finally, we get a burst of enjoyably bloody action, then we’re back to talk and drama. The security guy Thomas (Nigel Thijs) and Ada even try to end the world with a bang, but the alien interrupts that.
The alien itself looks like somebody in badly fitting leather pants, jacket and a mask. And it would appear its invading Earth all by itself. This is all just a colossal misfire of a film. Given the running time, there’s no reason Invasion Earth couldn’t have cut the drama in half and gotten to the promised invasion sooner. It would still have been underwhelming, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as hard to sit through.
As it is it feels like an unfinished drama with the alien scenes tacked onto the beginning and end. Which might explain the co-director credit for Steven M. Smith (Dead Again, Doll House). In any case, Invasion Earth is one to avoid.
Midnight Releasing, who should know better, will release Invasion Earth On Demand and DVD August 8th. You can check their Facebook page for more information.