Occupation: Rainfall movie review | RBC

Occupation: Rainfall’s basic plot and corny effects hamper the potential of Australia’s sci-fi epic despite a good cast and solid ideas.

occupation: rain is an ambitious swing by Australian filmmaker Luke Sparke, attempting to craft an Australian-centric response to explosive action/sci-fi epics. This ambition quickly exceeds the real scope of the filmmakers, leaving occupation: rain with bland action, straight-to-TV level effects, and a wasted opportunity to explore a seriously interesting sci-fi plot.

Set two years after the events of 2018 Occupation (with Sparke still at the helm as writer and director), human resistance against a massive alien invasion has grown more desperate. Focusing on the remnants of the Australian Army and their civilian allies, the conflict is increasingly wiping out what remains of towns and settlements. The battle is tough, as the legions of alien soldiers keep trying to overwhelm the humans. There are also problems brewing within the group, as some aliens have betrayed their kind to fight alongside humanity. However, these alien allies still face fierce hatred from the rest of humans.


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There are two movies at war with each other occupation: rain. The first follows Matty (Dan Ewing), Peter (Temuera Morrison), and Matt Garry’s (Lawrence Makoare) alien companion as they hunt down the titular secret weapon known as Rainfall. This aspect of the film is the most basic and overall boring narrative. In this action-packed part of the film, the special effects-heavy sequences flip, with a sense of scope or majesty thrown off balance by the wonky nature of the effects. There’s a jerk to it all that makes it exceptionally off-key, which is particularly disappointing after the more muted (and impressive) effects of Occupation. While Ewing, Morrison, and Makoare are all good performers, there’s simply nothing impactful for them to leverage from the most basic characters.


Their hunt for the title “Rainfall” turns out to be a dull job, with special effects straight out of a SyFy movie released straight to TV. Laser sounds, goofy costumes, and repetitive hordes of faceless enemies make the film a perfect example of a basic sci-fi flick. In these moments, occupation: rain feels like a parody of what it’s really trying to be. The film’s serious tone and its two-plus-hour runtime don’t help matters, just underscoring the fundamental nature of the film.

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However, the occupation: rainThe main subplot of turns out to be much more intriguing. Although the alliance between humanity and some of the Gray aliens has yielded positive results, many humans still see the unlikely allies as monsters. Amelia Chambers (Jet Tranter), who has developed a connection with the Greys, finds herself struggling with this prejudice. His actions are opposed by Commander Hayes (Daniel Gillies), who grew up to despise aliens and experiments on POWs to figure out what drives them. This subplot remains at least focused on the cast dealing with real moral dilemmas regarding loyalty, acceptable acts of war, and morality in desperate times. While the script may be basic, it’s in these moments that the direction feels the most focused and the cast feels the most engaged.


Filmed for $25 million, occupation: rain has a solid budget higher than most Australian productions, even if it doesn’t look like it. In fact, it looks almost worse than the first Occupation, which had a tighter budget but was more inventive in its direction and more restrained in its acting. There is little in it occupation: rain which hits the level of the original, with the on-screen action largely offering little genuine excitement. There are good concepts and performers in occupation: rain, and if the film had tried to heighten the tension of the previous film instead of expanding it, there could have been an intriguing plot. As it stands, the film’s lackluster action portions ultimately weigh down what could have been an interesting sequel to the previous film.


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