Attraction – EIFF 2017 Review

From the land that brought Battle Ship Potemkin and Solaris, Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk sets out to challenge old Cold War foes America in big budget Sci-Fi intended Blockbuster with Attraction.

Attraction is about the response and reaction after an alien space craft crash lands in Russia. The story primarily follows Yulya the daughter of a high ranking military official, after having narrowly avoided being struck by the crashing aircraft she tries to take matters into her own hands and get revenge on the aliens. The entire crash site has been quarantined by the Russian military and, in a nice departure from standard movie procedure, it’s the military commander, Yulya’s father, who is advising caution and just allowing the aliens to be left alone to repair their ship and leave, rather than having the standard movie military shoot first ask questions later. After entering the crash site Yulya and her boyfriend discover that the aliens are more like us than they thought.

The movies special effects and CGI are excellent and the movie manages to offer something different for both alien and spaceship designs. Whilst this has some excellent action set pieces, beautifully shot with an outstanding score on those scenes especially, this is not an independence day. This isn’t your average action blockbuster, this is primarily a love story that just happens to be taking place during an alien “invasion”. It has some subtle and some not so subtle messages underpinning it about our humanity but never feels like it’s hammering them home too hard. There are a few issues with the film the pacing is a bit off at times and much of the conclusion feels a bit rushed, but this having been my first foray into recent Russian scifi I’m looking forward to more.

★★★★

Euan Tennant