I typically use the IMDB description for a movie at the start of a post. Except in this case. Netflix actually tells you what might happen in the movie.
One night five friends are out drinking, the next they’re struggling to survive in a landscape controlled by alien invaders in this sci-fi chiller. Anarchy is in the air as an enormous spacecraft hovers overhead and order breaks down on the ground. – Netflix
The real “battle” is the insurgence within mankind itself. – IMDB
The movie opens with a woman (Maya Grant) running out of a house in a panic, in the rain. She is looking around scared, and then suddenly looks, and appears to be the on verge of fainting. I’m only 99% sure the purpose of this first scene is to have a woman standing in the rain and allowing the camera to pan up and look down at her cleavage.
Now we jump to some kind of nightclub, with generic music and many shots of people dancing. Story-wise, essentially nothing is happening, the camera is just jumping around to various groups of people, with no purpose, for about five minutes. Now we suddenly cut to a couple sitting on a car outside the club and we are introduced to Robin (Simon Phillips) and Dana (previously seen Maya Grant). Robin has made a date of them sitting on top of a car outside of a club, as a romantic gesture for proposal. I guess that kind of thing works in the UK, because she says yes. Cut back to the club, we are introduced to celebrity children Michael (played by son of Pierce Brosnan, Sean Brosnan) and Carrie (daughter of Jean-Claude VanDamm, Bianca Brigitee VanDamme). Michael is pretty smitten by her, but she is kind of ‘eh.’ Cut over the bar and we meet Vincent (Jazz Lintott) who is striking out hitting on a lady. He accidentally? spills his drink on her, and some other guy comes over to harass him. Michael rushes to the rescue. Both are thrown out by two Bouncers, just as Robin is agreeing to have a baby with Dana. A fight breaks out, Robin rushes the aid of Michael, while Vincent just sits back and watches his handy work at getting his friends to fight his battles for them. After the fight Michael laments not getting to score with Carrie, going into graphic detail of all the things he hoped to do with her. She happens to walk up behind him and overhears basically all of it, which his friends not too subtly try to tell him she is there. She doesn’t seem concerned with his crass behavior though, and follows the whole gang back to Vincent’s house.
This first segment of the movie, meaning the scenes in and around the nightclub, represent roughly 10 minutes of the film. With the film being 100 minutes in length, it means we spent 10% of the at this nightclub, of which at least half of that was just people dancing. Actually this whole film can pretty much be broken down in 10 minute segments of various tedium.
The next 10 minute segment of this film is the two couples having sexy times, Vincent just passes out, or something.
The next morning Vincent wakes up and wonders why his coffee machine doesn’t work. He must be pretty hungover, because he doesn’t notice it isn’t plugged in. After hitting a number of switches and other things, each more unnecessary than the last, Vincent finally realizes the power must be out. He goes outside to hobnob with his neighbor. His neighbor is hightailing it to London to meet up with his wife, who is some bigwig in the disaster recovery planning for the UK. Power is out in the whole neighborhood. Michael and Carrie go for a walk and get harassed by a crazy old man (he makes no claim of being a scientist though). The old man keeps going on about Matthew 24:36. Will this scripture reference be important later? Kindof, sortof, no.
Now the friends spend a boring evening inside with no power. That the scene is boring is on point for this movie, but apparently not for the characters. We get a little back story about Robin and his dead parents, all this amounts to nothing having to actually do with the story though. Oh, also it appears all the clocks (watches included) stopped at 12:36am.
I forgot to mention that throughout this film up until this point, random shots and scenes have been just haphazardly tossed into the film. Sometimes you see a very old Jean-Claude VanDamm, just looking old. Did I mention that of the ten movies his daughter Bianca has made, six of them starred Jean-Claude, and the seventh one (this one) has him in it? Seventy percent of her film roles are because of her father. This is in stark contrast to Sean Brosnan, who doesn’t seem to share any credits with his father. Back to those random shots, pretty soon you realize you are seeing shots that are going to happen later in the film. All these shots feel like exactly what they are, padding to make the film a little longer, so that you die a little more inside. Dana has a nightmare in the night, which is little more than just a scene we are obviously going to see later in the film.
The next morning there is an earthquake (or so we are led to believe). The group step outside, because it appears there is a lot of commotion going on. Michael takes his gun, which I guess we are going to pretend people (even ex-military) have ready access to handguns in the UK. Maybe they do, what do I know?
They need supplies, perhaps because Vincent is a bachelor with no lady friend. I’m not sure if Robin and Dana also live at this house, but the one thing I know for sure is that Vincent does live there, but he had to sleep on the couch for two nights in a row. The house doesn’t strike me as small or only having two bedrooms either (at least from external shots). Anyways, the group meander over to the grocery store, but it is closed. A riot nearly breaks out, and some racist jerks harass a woman who isn’t white enough for their pale constantly overcast island perceptions. Michael stops it. Michael (despite living some 200 miles away) is friends with the local assistant manager, who agrees to let them in the back way to steal some food. They are trying to be stealthy, because they don’t want the mob outside the front doors to see them. Except they aren’t really trying to be stealthy, because they are flashing lights all over the place which are clearly visible to everyone. The mob busts through the front doors, and there is a riot. Michael is getting beat up by the racist guys from outside. Carrie somehow randomly grabs his gun and fires a few shots into the air. The gang runs outside with what can only be a few bags of grocery. Two guys follow them to their car and want to steal the food they just got, but Michael waves his gun around and then the two thugs run off to steal food and do who knows what else to the woman who the racists were harassing.
Let me just say now, that if you are in an apocalypse and you encounter scum of the Earth racist thieves, go ahead and shoot them and do the whole world a favor. These are exactly the people you are saving your bullets for.
Back at the house the group unload a laughably huge amount of food from their car. This food is in crates and meticulously stacked in the back of the car. A surprising turn of events considering we saw them run out of the grocery which just a few items in their hands and jump in the car and leave. Anyways, Michael is out of ammo. I guess the three shots Carrie fired in the grocery store were the only three he had. He wants to take the car to his place to get more ammo and weapons. He lives approximately 200 miles away. There is some pointless discussion and in the end Carrie decides to go with him.
The stress is really starting to get to Vincent. Maybe it is lack of electricity, maybe it is the looming spaceship hovering over the city. We may never know the truth. In any case, Vincent is convinced he needs to ransack his neighbor’s house (the one from the beginning whose wife works for disaster planning) runs into his neighbor and there is some kind of confrontation outside. Full disclose, it was at this point in the movie I needed to take my dog out for a few minutes, and I didn’t bother pause it. I’m completely sure I didn’t miss the one critical and redeeming part of the film in my absence though.
Carrie and Michael are driving along and suddenly are in a car crash. Michael sees a man and declares him a total loss, and so mercy kills him by suffocating him. Carrie is pretty upset about it, Michael tries to lead her away from the car which is about to explode (he only knows this because he is in a movie, and in the movies cars explode 100% of the time, unlike in real life, where it is more like 0.1% of the time). Carrie says there is a little girl in the back seat, so Michael pulls her out and then the car explodes (as always). The girl is in bad shape, Carrie suggests a hospital, but Michael rejects that idea, he opts for a pharmacy instead.
They find a pharmacy and then a cop shows up. The little girls says something about this guy having a special mark or something, and the cop goes totally crazy and tries to kill her. This is the ten minute segment where Michael and the cop fight, with both receiving an enormous amount of damage, which neither of them seems to be slowed down by. Carrie just sits and watches while this happens, essentially filling in for the role Vincent would originally play in this group dynamic. Just as Michael is about to lose the fight, Carrie steps forward and kills the cop. As luck should have it his pant leg was cut in just the right way to reveal he really does have a special mark.
Back at the house, alien ships start flying around the neighborhood looking for something. The trio play a game called “let’s see how close I can get to the window without being seen, rather than moving to the center of the house where the alien couldn’t possibly see me.” Miraculously they win this idiotic game against the aliens. Robin and Vincent decide they need to steal a car, and leave Dana alone in the house. Dana must be pretty understanding to have her fiance just leave her home alone in a house which is being scanned by aliens. With those two gone, Dana starts to get freaked out and wander around the house with a flashlight. She must have gone to the Blair Witch Project’s School for Effective Flashlight Use, because she only does three things with that flashlight. She shines it directly into the camera lens to make a huge lens flare. She shines it at walls about two feet in front of her. And she shines it directly up at her own face. We are led to believe there is some creature prowling around in the house with her. We capture maybe something of a glimpse of it on her cell phone camera, but it isn’t clear. Anyways she runs outside into the rain, and we see the scene again which the movie opened with.
Dana is standing in the rain, with the camera looking down her shirt, and above her is an alien spacecraft. Just as it is about to do… something. It explodes. Two army guys with a bazooka show up out of nowhere and start quoting scifi movies. In particular Aliens, and Independence Day. Just at this moment, Michael, Carrie, the little girl, AND Robin and Vincent all return. Remember that crazy old man who doesn’t claim to be a scientist? He shows up to, and grabs a gun and threatens the group. Michael wants to talk him down, but the other two Army dudes just have too much Army in them. One of them shoots the old man, but not before that old man gets a shot off and kills Robin.
Despite being dishonorably discharged, Michael commandeers the two soldiers and their truck to take them to his uncle George’s place. George (played by Jean-Claude VanDamm) is a crazy ex-special forces whatever who lives at a farm house. They show up, George ultimately lets them in, and then George reveals he has an old Ham radio which allows him to hear all the military stuff going on. He also says that 24 and 36 are significant numbers. The Army guys say that all the clocks stopped at 12:36 am, and in military time that is 24:36 (I’m pretty sure it is actually 00:36). Michael remembers the old nut going on about Matthew 24:36 and says it is in the bible. The people act like they’ve never even heard of the bible, and none of them make any effort to look up the passage. The relevance of this recurring thing in the film apparently is forgotten, because they just move on and don’t mention it again.
Because I am not as lazy as the people in this film I’ll give you the scripture reference.
Matthew 24:36 – No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Now that the scripture has been revealed, we see why no one bothered to look it up, because it doesn’t seem to explain much of anything, certainly not without the surrounding verses.
George says there are aliens impersonating people, and you can’t trust anyone you don’t know. Everyone vouches for everyone else, except no one can vouch for Carrie, because they just met her two days ago. Michael agrees to search Carrie for the special mark. They leave to a room to do that. While Michael is apologizing for having to do this, he turns around and Carrie shoots him in the head. The two Army guys bust in with George and try to take her down, and after much fighting (of which Carrie is able to recall the fight between Michael and the Cop and copy all their moves) Carrie escapes using Dana as a hostage, until she abandons her.
Now there is a huge air battle going on between two different types of aircraft, neither of them human. George comes running out of his house with his radio to give to the aliens, since that is obviously what they want. Or not, because they shoot him instead. The ship is going to shoot the rest but it also gets blown up.
We are now down to the two Army guys, Vincent, Dana, and the little girl. They all jump in the truck, and the Army guys are shooting their automatic rifles out the window one-handed driving…somewhere. One of the guys is shot, and the other ones stops the truck. They are right outside George’s house again. Were they driving in circles? If so why? We’ll never know.
They run back inside. Vincent, the coward throughout the whole movie whose only courageous thing was to loot the house of his assumed absentee neighbor, suddenly decides he deserves to be with Dana, and attempts to rape her. This was a confusing development for this hacked together story. Dana and the remaining Army guy fight him off, and then Vincent is down. The Army guy grabs a microwave to bash in Vincent’s head (a fitting end for a rapist), when the power suddenly comes back. The TV shows a news report announcing that humans have driven off the aliens. Another confusing development, given the air battle taking place outside. The three survivors are shocked to see the newscaster is Carrie.
A group of soldiers arrive at the house and enter the kitchen area. They are doppelgangers of the cop from the pharmacy. They receive orders and shoot the survivors. Now the camera flies up above the atmosphere where you see two different alien ships fighting in space.
Why is this movie called Alien Uprising (originally just called U.F.O.)? When did the aliens revolt?