Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
It's not 'After Earth', the mega large box office disappointment from M. Night Shamylan and Will Smith, it's 'AE: Apocalypse Earth', the Asylums mockbusting response to that film.  Now I know The Asylum isn't in possession of a crystal ball or anything so they don't what's going to be successful and what's going to flop, but they might want to start mockbusting films that are successful in their natural state.  'American Battleship', 'Atlantic Rim', 'Hansel and Gretel', 'Jack the Giant Slayer', this movie… were all box office disappointments.  But if they had mockbusted 'Iron Man' or 'World War Z' or 'The Heat'… which shouldn't have been too difficult… or even made a sequel to their fast and furious mockbuster, '200 MPH'… this time calling it, I don't know, '300 MPH'… it just seems like a better move to me.  Regardless of all of that, we have 'Apocalypse Earth' to deal with on this day featuring people walking in the woods.  A lot. 

Sometime in the near future aliens will attack our planet.  Even though it does look like one lousy alien ship to me, but nonetheless it's doing much damage.  All looks lost for the human race but there are a number of earth ships on a mission to find a new world to populate in hopes that the human condition can carry on.

We don't know how long our ship inhabitants were in cryo, but they crash land on this one particular planet.  The folks that managed to survive that crash found themselves being quickly attacked by an odd combination of blue humanoids and funny looking things in a state of Predator Phase.  No worries though because hardcore armed forces soldier  Lt. Frank Baum (Adrian Paul) has regained consciousness and he's busting caps. 
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First order of business is to organize the surviving humans and figure out where they are and what the hell is going on.  Where they are is a mystery as this planet is covered in greenery and has rings around it and stuff, but it is also completely inhabitable.  Second order of business is to find a ship and maybe make it back to Earth, since this planet is so damn hostile.  This will be made easier since we have hotshot pilot Capt. Sam Crow (Richard Greico) who has also regained consciousness and he can fly anything.  Anything.   We must also mention that TIM (Gray Hawks) is along for the ride, the Data-esque Android who is really handy to have around in a pinch. 

But for now, survival is the order of the day.  This is made a little easier by the crazy hot camouflaged alien Lea (Bali Rodriguez) who speaks a language that wavers between alien broken English and Harvard professor perfect English, but because she looks so fetching in her camouflaged bikini, we'll let that slide.   The problem, as it were, is that those Predator Phase aliens are really bad news and are hunting our surviving humans, who are dropping off one by one.  Is this going to stop Lt. Baum and Lea the alien girl from making a love connection?  No it is not.  Love just won't wait my friends.  

But the situation is a dire one.  Blue aliens on one side, invisible aliens on the other, giant grasshoppers to the left, flying ships on top, hungry lizards to the left… with the goal being to make it back to Earth.  Which has been Apocalypsed.  Or not…

It's like this… I enjoyed Thunder Levin's 'AE: Apocalypse Earth' but then I watch an inordinate amount of these types of movies, know what I'm saying?  My tolerance level is pretty high for this sort of thing.  So if your baseline for what you would find acceptable in a science fiction movie is something along the lines of 'Prometheus', then there is little chance that you will find anything of any value in this 'Apocalypse Earth'.  The acting in inconsistent, veterans Adrian Paul and Richard Greico, along with Gray Hawkes as the android showing up the majority of their co-stars.  Did we buy Bali Rodriguez as a tough alien woman, raised in wild, living off the land, conditioned for survival?  Nope, she was clearly a supermodel in green body makeup.   The special effects are suspect, the pace erratic and often too slow since we do have to spend a lot of time watching our characters walk in the woods, and the outcome of all of this is fairly obvious, though I did like the delivery of this obvious outcome.

So why was I entertained by 'AE: Apocalypse Earth'?  Despite its oppressive shortcomings, the good in the movie outweighed the bad, at least from my perspective.  Adrian Paul could've chosen to sleepwalk through this movie, but he gave it his all, perhaps buoyed by the fact that his character got to grope and gawk at Bali Rodriguez for the majority of the movie.  I don't know.  While the pacing was erratic, most of the time Levin did try to err on the side of action as these walks in the woods were at least purposeful and usually led to some kind of suspect special effects sequence or shootout.  Except maybe when the cast joined in and sang 'It's Long way to Tipperary'.  Don't know what that was about, other than that song is probably out of the public domain and free to use.  And as I mentioned before I thought the resolution, or at least the execution of this resolution, was pretty cool. 

True enough, our baseline for these things are low, but it slides.  So where we were disappointed with the afore mentioned 'Prometheus', we weren't disappointed with 'AE: Apocalypse Earth'.  Different expectations from a 150 million dollar movie as opposed to a 150 dollar movie. 
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