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Alien Outpost

A few years ago ”Battle: Los Angeles” showed great promise with a story about tough, disciplined soldiers going up against an alien invasion but let us all down with hokey dialogue and pat characters no matter how impressive the visuals, effects and weapons were.

”Alien Outpost” does a great job of fulfilling the promise of that idea, even within what looks like a seriously low budget.

It’s years after an alien invasion. Humanity managed to repel the initial assault, and the alien armies that retreated left scattered members of their forces here and there across Earth.

With the militaries of the world gradually mopping up, a documentary crew joins a detachment dropped in the desert somewhere in the Middle East to join up with the base of the title.

”The Outpost” is home to some very tough hombres who have to watch not only for the alien soldiers and their fearsome weapons, but local insurgents who don’t want them there (in a strong contemporary parallel).

The plot is fairly basic. Via a few patrols outside the base and a local informant the threat builds to an inevitable climax, and while the getting there isn’t terribly memorable a few weeks after you watch it, it’s never boring and the dialogue and performances aren’t nearly as bad as they were in ”Battle: Los Angeles”, which was so bad it kept wrenching you out of the experience.

In mockumentary style, talking head interviews with the soldiers are interspersed into the action, a neat device to tell you more about characters who don’t talk about their pasts or feelings much in the macho bravura of base life or battle.

We don’t see the aliens until fairly late and they’re no big deal when we do, but they allow for a very visceral end set piece.

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