Attraction 2: Invasion (2020) may just be the first alien takeover film where I do not recognize the monuments being destroyed — it was not the statue of liberty, not the white house, not even the empire state building, but instead, statues around Moscow that disappeared beneath the shadow of an alien space ship and devastating floodwaters. Attraction 2 is a sequel that seems to have taken a step up in VFX and screenplay; whereas the first movie seemed to have a heavy romantic premise, the romantic aspect in Attraction 2 took a backburner to the movie’s psychokinetic research and government affairs storylines. Director Fyodor Bondarchuk leaned into the film’s non-stop fight, chase, and destruction scenes to make Attraction 2 an insightful but entertaining sci-fi/action thrill ride.
Attraction 2 is a follow up to his 2017 hit, continuing the journey of a woman, Yulia (Irina Starshenbaum), caught up in the aftermath of a strange new world where aliens exist and she is important enough to have bodyguards tailing her twenty-four-seven. At the military facilities led by her father Colonel Valentin Lebedev (Oleg Menshikov), Yulia’s psychokinetic ability with water is put to the test, as well as a reverse-engineered combat exoskeleton designed in the 3 years since the first invasion. When Yulia escapes her guards, she finds herself back in the arms of her love Hekon (Rinal Mukhametov), who also happens to be an alien — but a very good looking one, at least. While she is in hiding, the aliens launch a digital attack by manipulating video of Yulia proclaiming to be an extremist, and in the same line, impersonate military officials through telecommunications in order for the humans to launch attacks on her against their will. With her new abilities a threat to extraterrestrial beings, Yulia must find a way to save herself without risking the rest of the world.
Having gone into my screen without seeing the first installment, I found Attraction 2 to be surprisingly coherent for a Russian-language film that is a sequel, one that spends little time recapping previous events — I feel that the movie stands on its own. It is not at all groundbreaking as far as CGI and special effects, but the visuals in Attraction 2 simply kick ass. There is a little bit of that Michael Bay slow-motion style, but the action never really stops otherwise. Attraction 2 is every bit of an action movie, but it is not over the top in a cheesy way and it does not settle for Hollywood tropes, instead, Attraction 2 pulls the audience in with brooding characters and action sequences that are full of so much movement that the eye is never bored.
The narrative is far from boring as well, employing extraterrestrials, government-sanctioned corrupt scientific research, and deep fake propaganda to build its plot. The true horror is how easily the mind can be tricked when control over reality falls into the wrong hands, it is something that only had the chance to be lightly touched upon at the end of Spiderman: Far From Home, but Attraction 2 pulls the issue of deep faked photos and videos out of obscurity and throws it down at our feet so that there is no denying the possibility of the dire repercussions this digital weapon could cause, and the inevitability of it occurring due to our continued dependence on technology and media. Reality is under attack, and Attraction 2 is here to bring this conundrum to our attention.
Visually, Attraction 2 reminds me of a lot of American action-disaster movies, such as Transformers or Independence Day — it borrows heavily from many movies like these, yet doesn’t feel overly cliché. Lovers of either of those movies will find quite a few things to appreciate if they were to give Attraction 2 a watch, the difference with Attraction 2 though is that it has a clear message that it is trying to send to audiences, and it is not “America, fuck yeah!” like the aforementioned films, but rather a blunt and forceful message of “America (or any other country), wake up!” and “don’t believe everything you see online”. Already released to VOD, Attraction 2 is due to be released to DVD July 21st, 2020.
MOVIE RATING — 7 out of 10 ☠️
|Runtime:||2 Hrs. 13 Mins.|