Occupation: Rainfall review – cool-looking action sci-fi tosh

It is tough to gauge what is worse about this Australian action sci-fi effort: the outrageously cliche-riddled script by writer-director Luke Sparke, or the way Sparke seems to have encouraged his cast, which includes authentically good actors such as Temuera Morrison and Ken Jeong, to deliver epically poor performances. However, credit where credit is due: on some very specific technical levels, Sparke and his collaborators have made something that looks like it had a vastly bigger budget than the AUS$25m (£13m) it’s claimed to have cost. The producers certainly got a real bargain with the visual effects, which have been deployed to create some genuinely ominous-looking alien spacecraft that have invaded Earth. These spacecraft are helmed by rubbery looking aliens with whooshy lightsaber-style weapons that leave a red optical smear as they slice through the air, which is cool. Nevertheless, weigh it all up and divide by the number of minutes it takes to slog through and the maths dictates that this is irrefutably tosh.

Matt (Dan Ewing) and Amelia (Jet Tranter) are survivors of the rubbery big grey aliens’ initial devastating invasion – as depicted in the film’s 2018 predecessor, Occupation – and have since banded together to form a resistance. Their small army of motley rebels also includes some aliens as well, particularly a tall chap whom Matt insists on calling Garry (Lawrence Makoare), a gag that’s only mildly amusing the first three times it’s deployed and becomes quite tedious the 15th time it comes round again.

These characters are split up into an assortment of subgroups and sent forth to battle the aliens in a series of reasonably well staged action sequences mostly executed using blue-screen post production techniques. And there are some cute CGI alien beasts that can be ridden like horses but look like a cross between a dinosaur and a tiger, which are sort of fun.

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