Alien invasion movies are a dime a dozen these days. It seems like every 10th movie that comes out deals with some kind of alien species invading Earth, leaving a chosen few to fight the good fight and stop the foreign forces. Occupation: Rainfall definitely falls in that category. Despite the film’s thin storyline, there are plenty of exciting visuals and a dynamo cast to prevent the film from getting too far out of this world.
Amelia (Jet Tranter) and Matt (Dan Ewing) are survivors of the franchise’s first installment Occupation. They have now banded together and formed a sort of resistance (think Terminator but with extraterrestrials instead of homicidal cyborgs). As their numbers grow, opinions on how to handle this otherworldly problem begin to clash. Amid the invasion, the resistance learns of an operation known only as Rainfall. The group splits and the hunt begins for the mysterious Rainfall, a device that could propel them to victory, or bring defeat upon them.
Occupation: Rainfall is a force to be reckoned with in terms of special effects. For a film that is considered lower budget, there is an impressive amount of special effects and they are all well placed. The result is a movie that is entertaining and appears to be much more expensive than it actually was. The world creation, alien ships, and weaponry were all spectacular and would hold up against any big blockbuster film. I particularly enjoyed the design of the greys. Their design was creative and could have easily been something from a big-budget film.
Despite Occupation: Rainfall’s dynamic visuals, there are shortcomings in the story. So much time is spent on explosions, aliens, and weapons, not enough time is spent on the actual plot. The plot progression is definitely vague and character introductions and arcs leave something to be desired.
The film clocks in at about 2 hours and 8 minutes. With such a lax storyline, the film would flourish under a shorter run time. Without a strong story to carry the film, many of the fight sequences feel like just that… fight sequences. I LOVE action films. The more explosions the better. But after about 24 minutes of explosions and no clear reason why… it started to feel repetitive.
Though the story is not the film’s dominant feature, I enjoyed the softer themes presented. The tenderness Amelia shows to the defectors of the alien species and the cruelty they are subjected to by others makes a larger statement than just creating conflict to push the story forward. Throughout human history, the ‘other’ has been subjected to mistreatment, prejudice, and oppression. Seeing this unfold on screen allows audiences to connect with certain characters, creates a need for justice, and adds a little gray (alien) to the black and white world these characters live in.
Occupation: Rainfall features a strong cast that does as much as they can with the story they are given. Matt (Ewing), Garry (Lawrence Makoare), and Marcus (Trystan Go) share a large amount of screen time together and once they break away from the large cast and are on their own, they shine. I enjoyed their banter and their chemistry. I especially enjoyed the interactions between comedic relief characters Bud (Ken Jeong) and Steve (Jason Isaacs). They pair so well together and inject much-needed life into the film’s dialogue.
The idea behind Occupation: Rainfall isn’t new. And I would even go so far as to say the storyline itself is fairly flimsy. But the action sequences rock, the aliens (both armored and unarmored) are fun to see, and the cast is great. Based on that, it’s worth a watch.
6 out of 10