Fantasia Film Review: Attraction

Attraction

Attraction brings us an extraterrestrial contact in Russia. The film, directed by Fedor Bondarchuk and written by Malovichko Oleg, starts as expected. A large object of unknown origin is brought down by Russian fighter planes. You then have a clash of opinions between cautious and aggressive approaches to the arrival of the huge ship.

Colonel Lebedev (Oleg Menshikov) prefers to be careful. He’s got the perimeter around the ship sealed off but civilians refuse to leave their homes. Unfortunately, he’s facing even more opposition from his daughter Yulia (Irina Starshenbaum).

At first, the movie seems to side with the idea of animosity against the aliens, which destroys several buildings as it crashes. A group of youngsters want revenge for the death of one of their friends and break into the crash site. But when Yulia ends up being rescued from falling off a dilapidated building by one of the aliens, the movie shifts tone and slows down considerably. As Yulia’s resentful boyfriend Artyom (Alexander Petrov) goes on the offensive along with a mob of residents, Yulia and her new friend realize they’re left alone to fend for themselves.

Family issues seem to override extraterrestrial contact in this movie. Yulia complains that his father doesn’t listen to her, but one thing you will notice is that she never tells him what’s happening. As a result Colonel Lebedev ends up being manipulated or swindled by his daughter more than half the time. This is played up for laughs, but the movie could be solved in half the time if these two characters had a full conversation. Yes, I know I’m nitpicking.

Recommended with reservations to sci-fi enthusiasts. It’s an action film with good special effects that shifts the tone between pure action and a tale of acceptance towards outsiders. The tone shift is noticeable and it slows down the pace in a movie that is already long. Although we go back to some action for the ending, the payoff may not be as great for an audience expecting an all out battle. Instead, it walks somewhere between Independence Day and Starman in a balancing act that runs a little long to be satisfying in the end.

That will do for now.

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