No need to overthink it. The Blackout is a slam-bang, sci-fi, action blockbuster from Russia that’s certain to hold your attention long after the Milk Duds harden.
Borrowing from well-sourced material like Starship Troopers, Alien, and War of the Worlds, directors Egor Baranov and Nathalia Hencker have dropped a fairly epic slab of space spectacle on our heads, featuring a cast of brave comrades from the former Soviet Union battling an unearthly menace.
Nutshell: The Earth has gone dark except for one small circle of civilization in Eastern Europe. Russian troops are deployed, but prove mostly useless against an unseen enemy that sends wave after wave of brainwashed bears and people at their shrinking defenses.
All seems lost until the arrival of Id (Atryom Tkachenko), an alien with godlike powers (but no mouth), who offers the beleaguered survivors a possible solution to the impending invasion.
“But at what cost?” as the saying goes.
Seen mostly from the grunt’s-eye view of two soldiers, Oleg (Aleksey Chadov) and Grubov (Pyotr Fyodorov), The Blackout serves up balls-to-the-wall military gear excitement and plenty of narrow escapes, while bodies pile up to the heavens.
Having the aliens enslave millions of human subjects and making them fight against the Russian holdouts is a brilliant strategy that also saves tons of money on the special effects budget.
No need for Godzilla to stomp Tokyo when there’s plenty of domestic cannon fodder at hand.
Thankfully, even at 2-hours plus, there’s no lag time in The Blackout, and that’s worth plenty in my book, especially since it’s light on CGI.
Turns out there’s nothing wrong with old-fashioned blood and guts.