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Luke Sparke
Dan Ewing, Jet Tranter, Temuera Morrison
Writing Credits:
Luke Sparke

Two years into an intergalactic invasion of earth, survivors in Sydney, Australia, fight back in a desperate ground war.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 128 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 8/10/2021

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Luke Sparke
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Luke Sparke, Producers Carly Imrie and Carmel Imrie, Actor Zachary Garred and Visual Effects Supervisor Alex Becconsall
• “Sydney Escape” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary


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Occupation: Rainfall [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 21, 2021)

We’ve gotten plenty of “alien invasion” movies over the decades. For a new entry in this genre, we go to 2020’s Occupation: Rainfall.

Set two years after creatures from space assaulted the Earth, survivors attempt to continue their resistance. We head to Australia to pick up on efforts to fight back against the extraterrestrials.

As the humans pursue their battle, they pick up unlikely allies along the way. This leads toward a revelation that may help turn the tide against the aliens.

If that sounds like a generic synopsis, this makes sense. Rainfall offers a generic sci-fi action flick, so it merits a less than detailed plot overview.

Actually, Rainfall barely attempts an actual narrative. We get something about “Project Rainfall” that may help save humanity, and various anonymous characters embark on various anonymous missions, but it becomes difficult to latch onto much of a real plot here.

Instead, Rainfall exists as one urgent action scene after another, with short, bland character sequences to link them. The latter exist to cause us to bond with the roles, I guess, but the film does so little to develop the parts beyond the basics that we barely remember names, much less care about the participants.

Rainfall offers such a mess of a story that I actually paused the film after 10 minutes and went back to the start. The movie created so much confusion that I thought maybe I missed something and I should rewatch this segment.

No, I missed nothing – the opening simply made no sense. While it becomes a bit more focused after the initial salvo, the story continues to seem loose and less than coherent.

As I mentioned, Rainfall can feel like a collection of action scenes loosely attached to dramatic material. Little of this connects together in a logical, smooth manner, so we find ourselves stuck with seemingly random moments of mayhem and not much more.

Because of this, the violent sequences lack impact. Because a) we often don’t really know what’s going on and b) we don’t really care, c) we fail to invest in events, so d) all that loud action just comes across as tedious.

Of course, the derivative nature of Rainfall doesn’t help. You’ll see the influences of skatety-eight other sci-fi action flicks here, as Rainfall struggles to locate any kind of creativity.

Even as oft-visited as the “alien invasion” genre may be, it could still excite and entertain. Unfortunately, Occupation: Rainfall becomes such an inconsistent and overbaked effort that it never threatens to hook the viewer.

Note that Rainfall gets an “R” rating, apparently due solely to profanity, as I can’t find anything else here that would warrant that. The film throws out a number of “F-words”, but it uses them in an oddly gratuitous manner, like the producers wanted an “R” and sprinkled in that particular term to get it. The movie itself feels “PG-13” overall.

Also note that Rainfall ends with an indication it acts as “Chapter 1” in the saga. It actually turns out that Rainfall offers a sequel to 2018’s Occupation, which at least explains this movie’s clunky title.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Occupation: Rainfall appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image worked well.

Sharpness appeared strong. Only minor softness appeared, so the movie usually remained tight and concise. I saw no signs of shimmering or jaggies, and print flaws remained absent.

In terms of palette, Rainfall tended toward standard teal and orange, though some scenes boasted a broader sense of color. These hues showed good representation within stylistic constraints.

Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows seemed smooth. The movie consistently looked solid.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack became an engulfing mix. The track came with instances of dynamic information, mainly during action-oriented sequences, and those popped to life in an exciting fashion.

Much of the flick went with more ambient audio, and those segments succeeded as well. These contributed a good sense of atmosphere and formed an involving sensibility throughout the film, factors that made this a pleasing mix.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was bold and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements appeared accurate and dynamic, with deep, tight bass.

Speech remained natural and without edginess or concerns. Though not totally action-packed, this became a reasonably broad, involving track.

One added note: the mix came mastered at an unusually low level. When I cranked the volume, it sounded good, but I did need to twist that knob farther to the right than normal.

A few extras round out the disc, and we find two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from writer/director Luke Sparke, as he offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters and the first film, cast and performances, sets and locations, various effects, music and audio, photography and editing, stunts and action, and related subjects.

At his best, Sparke gives a good overview of various production domains. However, he tends to just describe the on-screen action a little too often. As such, this becomes a mostly worthwhile track but not one that consistently engages.

For the second commentary, we hear from Sparke, producers Carly Imrie and Carmel Imrie, actor Zachary Garred and visual effects supervisor Alex Becconsall. All five sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of the same topics as the prior track.

That doesn’t mean repetition much of the time, as we get different perspectives here. However, the end result remains lackluster. While we find occasional insights, too much of the commentary feels fluffy and full of praise.

Sydney Escape runs three minutes, 51 seconds and provides an odd form of music video. We see an orchestra perform part of the score while we get movie scenes cut into this footage. Why? I don’t know, but it adds little to the set.

Eight Deleted Scenes span a total of 12 minutes, 57 seconds. These mix added character moments with some action at times. Given the movie already feels long at 128 minutes, these simply would’ve slowed an already tiresome product.

We can watch the deleted scenes with or without commentary from Sparke. He tells us about the sequences and why they didn’t make the final cut.

Because I like sci-fi action flicks, I hoped that Occupation: Rainfall would offer an exciting addition to the genre. Unfortunately, it becomes little more than a loose collection of battle scenes in search of a plot or any form of creativity. The Blu-ray provides solid picture and audio along with a collection of bonus materials. Don’t expect much from this tedious affair.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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