Invasion review – no stranger danger in Apple’s anaemic alien takeover

11 months ago 150

As idiosyncratic who is presently being destroyed by Squid Game – with which Netflix has played upon our corporate anxiousness strings similar the world’s astir gleefully malevolent violinist – I wholeheartedly invited an epic communicative of planetary takeover by alien beings successful which astir nothing, successful fact, happens.

Invasion (Apple TV+) is balm to my harrowed soul. It starts disconnected traditionally enough. A mysterious thing falls retired of the entity and lands with a kerpow! successful an isolated portion of the satellite (here, the Arabian desert), witnessed by a lone traveller whose curiosity astir this unusual happening soon proves fatal. Mr Inquisitive meets his extremity by being benignant of carbonised and liquidised astatine the aforesaid time. The peculiar effects passim the 10-part bid are intriguingly off-beam and satisfying. Unfortunately you get astir 1 per episode.

And past – well, that’s astir it. For ages and ages.

We spell circular the satellite (travel costs were presumably wherever astir of the series’ rumoured $200m fund was spent) gathering the characters. There’s a sheriff successful Oklahoma (played by Sam Neill) connected – yes! – his past time earlier retirement, called retired to way down 2 men who went missing astatine astir the aforesaid clip arsenic a harvest circle-cum-crater appeared successful a section cornfield. There’s a happily joined mates with 2 children successful Long Island, whose location is the lone 1 near lasting erstwhile their neighbourhood is destroyed by the reverberations of immoderate unseen impact; a delicate schoolboy and his bully successful London; a coachload of children connected a schoolhouse travel who clang into a quarry during a meteor shower.

Shioli Kutsuna
Fierce vigor … Shioli Kutsuna. Photograph: Macall Polay/Apple TV

Elsewhere, we conscionable an aerospace technologist successful Tokyo, who becomes determined to observe however a Japanese shuttle flown by her person was destroyed without warning, and an American worker successful Afghanistan, searching for a abruptly missing squadron erstwhile helium meets the 2nd peculiar effect of the season.

There are powerfulness glitches and wide nosebleeds. Things shingle and rumble. Sands displacement and heave. Comms spell down. There is simply a generalised consciousness of peril truthful mild that– if you’re coming disconnected Squid Game, oregon so existent beingness successful 2021 – you whitethorn find it oddly soothing. There is decidedly thing retired there, but it’s coming truthful dilatory you’ve got clip to get your affairs successful bid first.

The penetration – though for astir of the series’ archetypal fractional you astir person to instrumentality it connected spot that that is what it is – takes 2nd spot to the characters’ idiosyncratic stories. Sheriff Tyson is simply a antheral inactive searching for the lawsuit that volition springiness his precise mean vocation meaning. Engineer Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsana) is wrestling with sexism astatine enactment and much prejudice successful her backstage life. The quarry-bound kids rapidly instrumentality connected a Lord of the Flies energy, and the happily joined mates are soon revealed to be, successful fact, acold from it. US worker Trevante (Shamier Anderson, whose fierce energy, on with Kutsana’s, does overmuch to suggest guardant momentum wherever determination is often none) struggles to support power of himself and his sanity erstwhile his men vanish and permission him not conscionable baffled but anchorless.

It is, if you squint hard enough, a brave effort to bash thing antithetic with an aged trope. You tin consciousness the creators Simon Kinberg and David Weil anxious to gully parallels and find resonance with existent issues: the fracturing household besides successful effect go refugees arsenic they effort to fly to safety; Trevante is simply a hostile invader astir to consciousness what beingness is similar connected the different broadside of the equation, and truthful on. Even so, Invasion is simply a dilatory pain that threatens to go simply slow.