Saturday, 9 May 2009

Alien Agent


Directed by: Jesse Johnson
Written by: Vlady Pildysh
Starring: Mark Dacascos, Billy Zane, Dominique Vandenberg & Kim Coates

While certainly not groundbreaking and in more than one instance a little rough around the edges, Alien Agent is nevertheless enjoyable sci-fi action hokum that is packed with a fair amount of gun blasting, shit exploding entertainment. Some nasty aliens have landed on earth and want to claim the planet as their own due to their own planet dying and withering away. The bad aliens are led by Bill Zane (obviously collecting a pay cheque) and an incredibly foxy babe (Amelia Cooke). Handily the aliens take on human form and are pursued by Mark Dacascos, a sort of alien cop who has come to save earth and pretty much blow up anything that gets in his way.

Alien Agent is B-movie all the way and could have been a whole better if it weren’t for the terrible dialogue (characters stating the bloody obvious left, right and centre) and if the momentum of the barnstorming opening sequence had been maintained throughout. Still, Alien Agent does exude a lot of low key charm. Jesse Johnson is an old hat at the action game having been a stunt co-ordinator and 2nd unit director on some of Hollywood biggest films (War of the Worlds, T3). Lately he has turned to directing and has churned out a number of low budget, high-impact action and sci-fi films: some good (Pit Fighter), some not so (The Last Sentinel). Alien Agent falls in between and knowing that the concept is old hat and often ridiculous, Johnson crams proceedings with good old fashioned do-it-for-real, CGI free stunts and action. An over-the-top car chase/gun fight/martial arts duel opens the flick in great fashion and introduces the audience to the indestructible nature of the aliens. From there on in, gun battling, fist fights and more cars exploding are delivered at regular intervals with crisp, bone crunching energy. The only thing that mars the action slightly is the scenes tend to be over quickly, never sustained long enough. But having said that, Alien Agent still crams in a ton of CGI free set pieces

Dacascos is his reliable and nimble self (getting a cool fight in a motel hallway) but is starting to look a little tired of starring in these formulaic sci-fi action films. Billy Zane is hardly there and Dominique Vandenberg from Pit Fighter also pops as a nasty, off-his-head bad alien causing all kinds of havoc. Cooke is one sexy alien and there are some nice plot diversions courtesy of Kim Coates’ kooky scientist and alien sympathizer and Emma Lahanna as the earthling who is along for the ride with Dacascos.

Again, nothing to write home about but Alien Agent has charm and action and is a decent vehicle that will suffice until the next aliens on the run action flick hits DVD shelves.

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