Greetings from the edge!
Today we’ll be invading Alien: Reign of Man, a sci-fi… something? Survival story? Zombie film? Existential musing on the nature of man? Your guess is as good as mine and doubtlessly better than the writer and director, who are the same person. Staring Khu as Zan, who appears in the film more than anyone else and some other people who come and go seemingly at random.
This is normally where I would try to give you a breakdown of the basic plot and storyline, but Alien: Reign of Man has neither. I’m not trying to be funny or ironic. Right now, you have as much of an idea about what this film is about as I do. I think it has something to do with activating a device to save Earth, but it doesn’t seem that important to any of the characters in the film. There are inexplicable zombies… in two unrelated scenes. A couple of aliens, which I think are actually genetically engineered by humans… I think? Some special people who are immune to a disease, that is only important in two scenes. Was this a couple of unrelated films spliced together?
I’ll take a moment to talk about the special effects in Alien: Reign of Man. They’re bad: bad costumes, bad makeup, bad props, bad CGI, and nobody seemed to care. The CGI creatures hover like parade floats when they are on screen ( which admittedly isn’t often. ) The uniforms seem to be made by uninspired cosplayers and no two seem to match ( y’know, like uniforms should. ) The most expensive effect in the entire movie is a snake thing popping out of a woman’s throat about fifteen seconds after she is exposed to a “virus.” Okay…
At just after the hour, mark two new characters (I think?) are wandering around a darkly lit cavern ( Haha, as if there is any other kind of lighting in Alien: Reign of Man ) and they come across a puddle of something that looks like it would be found on the floor of an “Adult” movie theatre. So of course, one of the witless morons grabs a big fistful of the stuff. Why? They don’t speculate what it is. He just grabs a big handful, squishes it around, and then they move on. I was waiting for him to lick it, I swear, it would have made more sense than just playing with it. Oh, and then they’re attacked by completely unrelated alien snakes. ????
This film is the enemy of narrative, plot, pacing, and character development. I am totally serious. I have never in my life seen a movie so devoid of any redeeming characteristics. At twenty minutes in, I wanted to turn it off. At thirty, I started checking the time in anticipation of watching four hour plus depressing as hell Japanese dramas for fun. At the hour mark, I actually had to take a break. Not kidding. I played some relaxing music and then came back and finished this atrocity ( Thank you, Caro Emerald, you’ve saved my sanity once again. )
Do you like characters appearing for one scene, spouting dialogue seemingly at random that contradicts something that the last scene stated? How about loooooooong shots of unimpressive CGI while characters with less screen time than the maid in a Tom and Jerry cartoon wax rhapsodic about dark matter? Do you hate having a clue about what the story-line of a film is or an intense hatred of color and good cinematography? Well, you’re in luck. Alien: Reign of Man is for you. Now take it and GO! Go far away from the rest of us. No, you don’t need to leave a forwarding address, just go and take all the copies of Alien: Reign of Man with you. We’ll airdrop you all the Top Ramen and Adam Sandler films you’ll ever need, promise.
Normally this is where I try to find something nice to say about the film, but I just can’t. This is not a review, IT”S A WARNING. Under no circumstances will this film entertain, enlighten, educate, or even help you pass the time. Plenty of bad films are fun when watched with a group of friends, but that will not help Alien: Reign of Man. It is dull, horrifically paced, lacking in plot or narrative, and sadly, under the delusion that it is deep. If you have the choice between this film and an infomercial, choose the infomercial every time. At least the infomercial will have a beginning and an ending, neither of which Alien: Reign of Man has. I’m deadly serious. I thought the screener had a fault, but no it just stops.
It is my personal conspiracy theory that Ridley Scott commissioned this film so that Alien: Covenant would not be the worst film to have the word “Alien” in the title.
Nerdy Speculation Corner: Warning, may contain both spoilers and dangerous amounts of geekery!
I’ll keep this short. Dark Matter is a theoretical substance that science posits to explain the fact that there is not enough matter in the observable universe to explain the level of universal gravity we have. It is not fairy dust, alien monoliths, or My Little Pony fan fic from an alternate reality. It’s just either super dense or difficult to observe, if it exists at all. Chances are just as likely that our math is wrong or our very fundamental understanding of gravity is flawed. If it makes zombies or forces films to flash forward, back, and sideways, I’ll be more than happy to formally apologize to the world at large.
Come back next week when unnatural disasters will reign with Tsunambee! A film seemingly trying to be the next “Good, Bad Film.” Can you make a deliberately bad film that captures the charm of the truly incompetent, or will it just be another log on the all consuming fire of critic rage that burns in the heart of every film reviewer? Let me jump in front of that cinematic bullet for you!