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A title like Alien Convergence might smack of lineage to the recent reboots of the actual Alien franchise but be assured, it is not. While the Ridley Scott films are a more of a big budget philosophical terror, Rob Pallatina‘s latest is a talky affair with big ambitions that may lack the financial funding but for what it is, develivers lots of campy monster fun.
Earth is hit by three meteorites that strike consecutively at three hot targets, unleashing giant winged reptiles with varying powers that set about to cause as much mayhem as possible. Meanwhile, a group of experimental pilots, led by Emma Harper (Caroline Ivari) – who is traumatized by an earlier accident – test new ‘brain planes’, piloted fighter jets that are operated by neural impulses rather than physical controls. This comes in handy when it turns out that the monsters, when looked at by humans, cause nausea and massive headaches, rendering standard pilots useless. Now Emma and her ragtag team of amputees and quadriplegics, must save the world.
Alien Convergence is not about the monsters so much as the people talking about them, the limited budget forcing the story to be extremely local with our heroes expositioning their way through the story across the desert as they band together to try and stop the menace. There is a subplot involving Emma’s father Benjamin (Stephen Brown), who is also wheelchair-bound, but not explored enough to really matter. Emma has much more important matters at hand in facing a military (well, one man) that seems initially unwilling to concede to her claims until a heated confrontation changes the situation and the team heads to the sky.
The aliens themselves, as few times as they are actually seen, are surprisingly good-looking, a combination of dragons and gargoyles that are appropriately cheesy and yet convincing. Pallatina doesn’t have a lot to work with but manages to squeeze enough out of what he does to make this a more enjoyable bit of fun than it really ought to be. Most of that is due to Marc Gottlieb‘s solid script, that, while looped in the trappings of the genre, is mostly sharp and offers the film’s best sense of urgency. The actors are not the highest caliber but do well with what they have with Ivari a standout. Pallatina offers some real flare in keeping the visuals as entertaining as he can, experimenting with some split screens and pacing that once established, maintains a fair share of momentum.
Alien Convergence is not a big alien battle movie (and it should be noted, just because, that the monsters pictured on the cover of the poster is nothing like the monsters in the film). Nor is it anything more existential. It is however a dialogue-driven story that clearly clings hard to the coattails of Alien Covenant though in name only. The film’s studio The Asylum steadily releases films like this, low budget fare meant to tie in with a larger theater releases and Alien Convergence is, like them, purely bubblegum action that for fans will be plenty of fun.
Movie description: Alien Convergence is a 2017 sci-fi thriller about an fearsome invasion that devastates the planet, leaving the survivors to fight back with newly-developed fighter jets.
Director(s): Rob Pallatina
Actor(s): Caroline Ivari, Stephen Brown, Ikaika
Genre: Sci-fi, Monster