ATTRACTION 2: INVASION ** Russia 2020 Dir: Fedor Bondarchuk. 134 mins
Three years have passed since Yulya Lebedeva (Irina Starshenbaum) first encountered the alien Artyom (Alexander Petrov) and allowed humanity their first look at extraterrestrial contact. In the meantime, the governments of the world are eager to get their hands on the advanced technological and medicinal gains to be had from their situation, and also dutifully set up measures to prevent such ships from attacking Earth unnoticed ever again. As she begins to undergo military study at her father General Lebedev’s (Oleg Menshikov) insistence to discover her strange new powers from their previous encounter, it draws them into a massive conspiracy when they realize the aliens are plotting a new attack on Earth forcing them into a race against time to stop it from happening.
Unlike the first entry, this is the very definition of a shut-your-brain-off film. Putting any sort of brain-power towards this convoluted mess of a storyline is a lost cause, trying to figure out alliances, allegiances, and the deeper meaning behind their banal conversations about free-will and intelligence. None of these offer up anything rewarding in an overlong, stuffed film featuring endless debates about whether the government is treating the aliens with any kind of sympathy or if there’s something to be said for the philosophical conversations about human intelligence and intuition. This is mainly forgotten about once it gets to the action scenes which are loud, bombastic, and visually stunning in a way that rivals American explosion-happy fests provided you’re tolerant of the CGI which is a notch or two below comparable blockbusters. If that sounds like fun, this could be an entertaining watch but it does have a lot of slogging to get through first.
Review by Don Anelli