Monday, 14 October 2013



You would think a movie originally called Alien Uprising and boasting Jean-Claude Van Damme in the cast would be a terrific piece of Saturday night SF hokum in which JCVD kicked aliens repeatedly in the head for ninety minutes and then everything blew up. It's the very definition of a perfect movie concept: any producer with all his pegs in the right holes would be throwing high-denomination banknotes at you after two sentences of your pitch. It Could Not Possibly Fail. Well, except it has.

What eventually emerged from the wreckage is now called UFO, and it's a cataclysmic ballsup of almost unbelievable dimensions: a stupid, tedious and cheap saga full of obnoxious, badly acted cretins, with Jean-Claude showing up over an hour into proceedings for a few scenes in a farmhouse. Our nominal heroes are a trio of loathsome ex-squaddies led by Sean Brosnan (son of), bellowing, fighting and picking up disposable chicks in nightclubs. They wake up one morning and find the electricity's gone off, and huge Emmerichian spaceships turn up apparently out of nowhere and hover silently over the city. Society immediately falls apart, huge purple alien probes peer through the windows, and everyone eventually runs off to Jean-Claude's farmhouse to have some backstory explained to them - yes, the legendary action star of Hard Target, Double Impact and Sudden Death has now been relegated to spouting the exposition before one token fight.

The aliens turn up again, one of the humans is revealed to be an alien in disguise, some of the gang get killed and one of the blokes suddenly decides to rape his dead mate's fiancee in an unnecessary plot device that achieves nothing but ugliness in a film that's already testing the patience. Pretty much everything is botched: it's visually boring, the music score is unlistenable and doesn't support the drama (what drama?), the movie grinds to a halt while Julian Glover babbles as a philosophising petrol station attendant, none of the characters are worth a wet shit, and for not one single moment is it even in the same postcode as interesting, exciting or thrilling.

There are two posters on view for Airborne, writer-director-actor-producer Dominic Burns's previous film which in all fairness was okay. But he also made the near-unwatchable one-take piece of garbage Cut, under the pseudonym of Alexander Williams for no apparent reason. (He's also in the worthless Strippers Vs Werewolves.) The spectacularly unspectacular UFO might be (slightly) more of a proper film with slightly better production values, but with characters so intolerably hateful as to have you rooting for the aliens from the start, no actual alien-punching from start to finish, the still considerable talents of Van Damme thrown away and a stupid twist ending, it's still a hell of a long way from professional enough to warrant a rental. UFO? Yes, and U can F O as well.


No comments: