Russian SF Flick Attraction 2: Invasion Visually Fun -- So Watch Muted

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Attraction 2 Invasion

ATTRACTION 2 is a visually stunning work of science fiction, and the trailers for it certainly communicated that fact, drawing in new fans as well as those who had already seen the 2017 ATTRACTION to which this is the sequel. It's shots of outer space satellite action, the scenes of flying through the city in a miniatur pod craft -- in fact, the entire cinematography is a thing to be admired from beginning to end.

And if visuals were all it took to make a great film, then this one would be a success. But there's also story and dialogue to be considered, and that's where this Blu-ray release just fails to capture me. To be fair, I am watching an American dub; the dialogue in the original Russian, were I able to do more than say 'good morning' and 'let's get coffee', might make more sense.

Since the events of ATTRACTION, Yulya is constantly surrounded by bodyguards, assigned by her military father. When she's not attending school or drinking in bars, she is undergoing experiments as scientists try to gauge the limits of her abilities over water, which she can seemingly make move. These abilities manifested due to the crash of the alien spaceship in the first film, as well as her ongoing relationship with the alien who came down with it.

Now the alien -- believed to have died in the first film -- has returned. And beyond that, the plot just goes haywire. There's an alien AI that is completely wired into the entirety of the Internet, allowing him to control traffic lights and such. But once he reconnects with Yulya, that AI is taken over by another one, which uses the uber-mastery of all things digital to send out fake news broadcasts painting Yulya as a terrorist, including videos of Yulya delivering a manifesto and sending phone calls to everyone from people they know, in their voices, telling them all they need to find and capture Yulya.

Some of the government is aware that these are fabrications, and the news goes out warning people to disbelieve all digital media for the time being. And yet the same government seems to be just as engaged in finding Yulya for the destruction of a building with which she was not involved.

Perhaps the most annoying thing of this version was the dubbing. Many of the characters just did not speak with the same emotion that the original actors were conveying. The tones were flat, like a simple dry read of the scripted lines which were then superimposed onto the film. I can easily believe the voice actors did not even see the scenes for which they were providing English dialogue, given how disparate the visual and audio tones were from each other.

ATTRACTION 2 gets points for great special effects, but if you're watching the American version, it's best enjoyed with the sound off.

3.0 / 5.0