Cast: Jason Isaacs, Ken Jeong, Temuera Morrison, Dan Ewing, Jet Tranter, Lawrence Makoare
Director: Luke Sparke

Lacking the relative depth of the first film from 2018 which somehow punched above its weight and scored an unexpected sequel, Occupation Rainfall follows the guns and grunts as they continue to take on the invading Greys aliens.

The fight's now been going on two years on after the first saw a ragtag group of survivors banding together to lead the uprise - starting in Australia (of course).

This time, meshing a buddy-one-more-mission brief into its sci-fi B-movie trappings, the film largely follows army grunt Matt (Ewing) and his unwilling alien partner nicknamed Gary (an anagram of the Greys, the invading race and used as a derogatory term) as they try and track down the mysterious alien device Rainfall.

But also hot in pursuit are the aliens...

There’s no way that this movie as anything but an unabashed love letter to the cheesy blockbuster.

The film cost only $25 million to make and quite frankly, it’s stunning what Luke Spake has managed to achieve with the money as it really does all show up on the screen, thanks to some inventive CGI work and some obligatory all guns blazing action sequences.

But it’s more in the human element that this Independence Day blockbuster ripoff falls down a little with Platt this time concentrating more on shifting sequences between action scenes rather than delivering the depth of character that came in the first film first time around.

That’s not to say the Occupation Rainfall isn’t bad as sci-fi extravaganzas go for a small screen.

This one is likely to find a second life thanks to its Netflix deal. 

It certainly won’t find the bums on seats in the blockbusters in the cinemas even with the Covid epidemic because there are no distinguishing moments to really make it stand out from the rest of its ilk and genre. There's nothing new here, but there certainly is more than enough effort to make it admirably.

While Temuera Morrison is a calming presence, he’s infinitely better than the script would offer him  - but a moment of principle when facing a mob delivers a timeless message from the film and grafts his appearance a credibility it needs.

As the two hours plays out, it feels like the film is outstaying its welcome and failing to build the foundations of anything other than leading to a sequel-baiting ending.

It seems churlish to mock the veritable spirit behind Occupation Rainfall - but script elements like the Alien Nation buddy plot, the comedy banter of Ken Jeong and Jason Isaacs’ alien and the overall storyline, tropes and themes feel like they’ve been done a million times before - and where the budget will allow it, a million times better.

But Occupation Rainfall is the very essence of a cinematic battler and while it may end on a frustrating note, you can’t half help but hope this franchise may overcome the odds so heavily stacked against it in terms of familiarity to ride again - whether you want it to or not.