After a sudden and utterly devastating attack by the Klum, the technologically superior reptilian alien race, the Earth of the not-so-distant 2020 suffers from extensive terraforming, severe atmosphere altering–and above all–an almost complete extinction of humanity. With the last resilient survivors scattered over a nearly dead planet, mankind’s last hope rests in a heroic resistance movement and in the hands of its leader, Jasper; however, before the hordes of the brutal and seemingly unstoppable extraterrestrials, the future is bleak. Is there a way to end the genocide?
User Reviews: I’ll be THAT guy, who gives one of the rare thumbs-down. A lot of people, who have watched RAKKA for free on Youtube, Steam, etc. have commented: "How is this free?". Well, commercials usually are, even if they are high-profile, expensive short-movie-with-popular-actors commercials.
I got introduced to the art of Mr. Blomkamp by his early and absolutely brilliant short movies "Tetra Vaal" (which "Chappie" was later based on) and "Alive in JoBurg" (turned into "District 9"). Those movies did not only display technological proficiency by a very young, very talented film student, but more important: originality. I consider "District 9" to be one of the most remarkable sci-fi movies ever made, setting a very high bar, especially for the director himself.
"Rakka" leaves me with the impression that either this bar might be difficult to reach for Blomkamp, or he didn’t intend to create something genuine, rather a 22-minute exposition vehicle to demonstrate the capabilities of his own production company. In this regard, "Rakka" excels impressively. It’s a tour-de-VFX with stunning, emotionally appealing visuals and CGI designs, altogether recommending Oats Studios for three-digit million dollar heavy Hollywood productions.
But as for the story and it’s narrative, it is tedious and uninspired. Let’s look at the checklist:
✔ aliens invade earth to destroy everything and exterminate humanity ✔ aliens invade earth to harvest terrestrial resources ✔ aliens probably trying to colonize earth, hence aforementioned measures ✔ humanoid aliens ✔ human survivor resistance ✔ everything exciting exclusively happens in the United States ✔ the obligatory tough guy ✔ the obligatory crazy guy ✔ the obligatory wasted-in-his-first-scene guy ✔ the obligatory female heroine(s) ✔ the obligatory chosen one ✔ alien thought- and mind-control ✔ alien omnipotence, spoiled by a ridiculously exploitable weakness
Unfortunately, this is not the "things I’ve NEVER seen a dozen times before" list. Especially the setting that is revealed within the first minute reminded me of the series "Falling Skies". I’ve grown tired of predictable stories like that, where aliens are actually a mere projection of all evil that humanity is capable doing to itself (without any alien intervention). Nice allegory, but this horse has been beaten to death more than once already.
I can only hope and wish that Mr. Blomkamp doesn’t turn into a Ridley Scott like director – someone with a great instinct for powerful visuals, but in desperate need of good writers.