Available on VOD and Home Video
June 2, 2020
Since the dawn of civilization in the Russian-made film, The Blackout, an alien agency manipulated the future of Earth for their own agenda. For the international release, titled Blackout Invasion Earth, the plan is not about conquering but rather preparing how this planet will fall. An opportunity is missed to make this film distinctly Russian. When this country is vast, a few mysteries like where the Volgogard Discs came from or why those people camping on Dyatlov Pass were found dead could have been explained before the action begins.
Main protagonists Alyona (Lukerya Ilyashenko), Olya (Svetlana Ivanova) and Oleg (Aleksey Chadov) learn about the ancient alien agenda when they subdue Eid (Artyom Tkachenko). He claims to “come in peace.” Thankfully, he sides with the humans.
This film is certainly eager to please on various fronts. Sadly, Shout! Factory’s release is the edited down version. Though Egor Baranov, director, changed bits too, he at least had a vision which made the war feel more like Independence Day 4.
When audiences in North America rarely get to see a sci-fi or fantasy work from this country, the curious will seek this film out. The last one I saw was the wildly stylish Night/Day Watch series; its sad a third never got green lit. Blackout is like these previous works–they’re a visual tour de force. The fact Ra (lya Volkov) may well be of Egyptian origin was enough for me to rent this release. Although under-utilized, to learn about his role in shaping society shows this film has lots of promise should more movies be made. To see how this alien’s influence changed western civilization might get explored in the second movie as it’s supposedly ready for release.
I don’t expect mythical figures to be exactly as our history paints them. Eid is perhaps an alien representation of Sigmund Freud’s take on the human psyche.
Part two was meant to be released last month. Given the current world crisis, it’s no doubt delayed. I was left asking a lot of questions after Blackout. Whether the next work examines and answers what War (What is it Good For?) will help bridge the cliffhanger like ending. As for when that will finally release, a more realistic timeline is to see as the world turns in 2021. Everyone wants it after how crazy this year has been.
3½ UFOs out of 5