Bullet Points: Revolt
To live is to fight. At least that is what the makers of Revolt want us to remember. I know that because it gets said repeatedly throughout the final half of the film. It’s also one of those lines that when it’s said by one survivor to another, both of whom have been fighting against this alien invasion for some time now, should have resulted in one of them saying flatly “no shit, Sherlock”.
There have been a bajillion alien invasion movies so how does Revolt stack up to all the rest?
Synopsis: The story of humankind’s last stand against a cataclysmic alien invasion. In the war-ravaged African countryside, a U.S. soldier and a French foreign aid worker team up to survive the alien onslaught. Their bond will be tested as they search for refuge across a crumbling world.
- The Director: My expert researching skills (IMDb master) told me that this is director Joe Miale’s first feature length film. Everything to this point has been a series of shorts. It feels like there are a lot of directors cutting their teeth doing no budget shorts these days and if my opinion were to be asked I would say that it is a very good thing. I remember that at one point many directors were getting their start doing music videos but now that that medium is all but dead, it’s only fitting that the talented ones find another way to get their visions out there. Miale’s vision is a damned bleak one. There are more than a couple of reasons that people are comparing this film to Neill Blomkamp’s District 9. Both are cool science fiction alien movies and both take place in Africa post-invasion. I’m sure a keener eye than mine will find plenty of other similarities but they share one thing that is more important than all others; they make enjoyable movies.
- The Look: If you dig the look of Blomkamp’s movies, all of which look about the same, then you’ll have an absolutely swell time watching Revolt. I was very impressed by the cinematography from the first time I hit play. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for a film to hit its stride but Revolt impressed me right out of the gates. From the look, the way the soldiers were moving, to the fact that the film showed the alien invader robots almost immediately, it felt good knowing that I wasn’t going to have to wait for some big monster reveal for the entirety of the film.
- The Bots: The alien bots that do most of the killing reminded me of a poor man’s AT-ST. They cruise around on two legs but they’re completely unmanned so none of those furry little Ewoks can sneak in and take over their controls. Fighting them is done throughout the film so you’ll get plenty of opportunities to see them kill and be killed. Alien invasion movies need more of this…people fighting aliens. It’s my least favorite thing about Independence Day.
- The Pace: The movie never dragged for me but part of that is because its star, Lee Pace, carried with him more than just the story of a survivor. He was also an amnesiac who couldn’t remember much about his past. A man who was clearly a soldier but who couldn’t quite put his finger on how or why he was still alive. The film never throws mega twists at the viewer. Nothing more than many will already think up, anyways. But the movie keeps us just enough in the dark to make the finale of the flick fun and entertaining.
- The Alien Action: There are enough gun-wielding poachers and city dwellers to fight against the aliens for most of the movie. This movie also doesn’t forget to show that no matter how many aliens have invaded your territory humans are still a massive threat to your existence.
Take your tin-foil hats off and check out these Bonus Bullet Points:
- The protagonists run into a dying photographer who was imbedded with some child soldiers during the invasion. It’s a really cool way for them to show us some of the backstory of the invasion without having someone stand there and recite all the stuff that has gone down. Instead, Pace and his beautiful co-survivor played by Bérénice Marlohe follow along with his story through the pictures he had captured.
- Speaking of Bérénice Marlohe, if I’m going to find myself amongst the surviving members of humanity, please let me be with someone who looks like Bérénice Marlohe.
- When you know the shit is about to hit the fan….you know it’s time to grab yourself a leather jacket.
The Verdict: It was a bit of a surprise to see Lee Pace in this movie as I’ve only ever seen him in massive blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hobbit but he was very good. He might have been a better fit than other actors because I didn’t even recognize him since I always see him in makeup or prosthetics. He and Bérénice Marlohe had great chemistry as most of the film was following their trek to find massive disc. As I said above, I really liked the look of the film and thought the alien invaders looked different enough to not be a retread of every other movie but also unique in their own way. I definitely enjoyed Revolt and would recommend it to anyone who was a bit disappointed by War of the Worlds and wants to see more warfare and less stupid people.