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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Lee Pace and Bérénice Marlohe
Distributor: Entertainment One
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 29 January 2018

During a particularly aggressive fire fight with an unseen enemy, a special forces soldier loses consciousness and awakens in an African jail. In the next cell Nadia is also incarcerated. The two escape, but the soldier cannot remember his name or how he got there. Nadia names him ‘Bo’ and the two of them set off across a landscape now dominated by an alien invader, looking for answers, looking for safety…

Revolt (2017. 1 hr, 23, min 44 sec) is a science fiction film directed by Joe Miale, who co-wrote the script with Rowan Athale. The film was made on a modest budget, but do not think ‘B’ film, rather it shares a lot of DNA with Neill Blomkamp’s film District 9 (2009). The film's score was written by Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander and The Walking Dead).

The film gets around much of its budgetary issues by emphasising the relationship between the two lead actors Lee Pace (Bo) and Bérénice Marlohe (Nadia). It is through Nadia that Bo discovers that the world has been invaded by mechanical aliens, though the film never answers the question as to whether the creatures are the aliens or if they are more akin to drones. The exposition required by the audience to orientate themselves is offered by Nadia as she seeks to help Bo remember. As an outside observer the audience slowly comes to realise that Bo may not be all that he seems, the ability to conduct copious amounts of electricity notwithstanding.

The central cast of Pace and Marlohe are very good in their roles, although the inevitable love story didn’t feel as convincing as it needed to be, but this is a frequent problem with getting couples from stranger to lover in an hour and a half. Pace is particularly good at conveying both strength and vulnerability. Coming off dual successful roles as Thranduil in The Hobbit (2012) and Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) its good to see him in a role which allows him to convincingly create a completely distinctive character.

Marlohoe (Twin Peaks (2017), Kill Switch (2017)) plays Nadia as the equal of Bo, being both strong and resilient, initially more so than Bo as she has memories of living through the end of the world which is denied to him due to his amnesia.

The film is essentially a road movie with the couple trying to get to an American army base, hundreds of miles away, where they think they can find safety. As they travel across the beautifully distinctive African savanna they are met with almost universal hostility. Mostly this stems from the idea that what the world is suffering is not an invasion but rather an American plot as the only place left untouched is the American antenna instillation.

Apart for the leads and Jason Flemyng, who plays Stander, a photo journalist they meet along the way, the rest of the film is populated by local actors and actresses who provide some much-needed gritty reality.

Given the budget the CGI is more than adequate to the task and the film makers have only included the amount required to forward the story.

Although generally impressed, I did like the movie, it is not without the odd issue. I don’t mind that it left a lot of things unanswered like what were the jets they keep seeing doing. The only fighters we see are locals fighting a guerrilla war as the rest of the world has gone to pot.

My biggest issue is with the end of the film which made no sense at all. I won’t spoil it for you except to ask why were nukes not effective? If I was being uber picky I do wonder, why the film was called "Revolt" rather than "Resistance" as it’s not established that the aliens are fully in control of the world.

The disc arrives with audio options for either DD 5.1 or DD 2.0 with the 5.1 being the superior track, the disc also includes English subtitles. There is one extra, Behind the Scenes (14 min, 31 sec) with contributions from the main actors as well as the director, it’s a nice enough piece which does give some context for the film.

So, if you're looking for a little indie gem which will keep you entertained, of if you like films like District 9, then I would highly recommend checking out the film.


Charles Packer

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