Alien Outpost.

Alien Outpost.

Found footage this film is not, a sigh of relief was breathed when aliens turned up on camera as the Blair Witch Project has left a terrible template which was stamped most expensively upon the un-pleasantry that was Cloverfield. Within this cinematic universe, a pseudo-historical perspective grounds the movie, similar to Edge of Tomorrow (EoT) but through a team of war reporters eyes as opposed to an intangible watcher in EoT. The pivot of pseudo-history in EoT however, are rather more critical to the progress of history than those ‘documented’ in Alien Outpost. Some writer or similar, put real thought into what a war-reporter documenting a failed alien invasion would get earn a Pullitzer Prize for, held back the delusions of grandeur which co-permeate EoT with the ever-present inferiority complex, and crafted an enjoyable 90 minutes.

Characters within the film are somewhat tacky as the director is intent on delivering an imaginary, army camaraderie to citizens to cowardly to enlist, but did  well enough to make me chuckle. Although the film seeks to deliver a package similar to Apocalypse Now or perhaps Jarhead, the tension does not escalate as it does in the former, nor does it deliver the hunger for combat found in the latter. Violence & madness are intricately linked, as in Apocalypse Now so to here, is the ultimate objective enabled by a soldier who mentally embraces the ‘alien’ perspective. Not that all the combat comes from the aliens, but the authenticity of the local militia is null as well as the grenade throwing strategy of those stationed at Outpost  37. What moronic local villain raids a heavily fortified military outpost the day after it is reinforced?

It is tempting to chase a consistent metaphor throughout the film, one about the War on Terror. A disgusting waste of money, which does not deliver any value system (other than an angry Zeus-type fear), and is still less horrific than most historic wars. So one asks oneself, when the USDF (United Space Defence Force, haha ah ha ha ahhh) soldiers are made to kill themself, by the same method by which a goat-herder’s child becomes explosive, is it not delivering  a powerful sermon about the War on Terror? That we are all human, our minds unreachable directly can house ideas of violent madness? That the biggest victim of suicide bombers is their parents? No, no it isn’t, it is quite clear, once someone has a bad idea there can be no forgiveness. Local militia make up a lot of fodder through out the film, but captured USDF (ha ha, ahh #sigh) soldiers become traitors and are exterminated like rats on board the Hindenburg. If it is a sermon, it is an old-time sermon full of rage and a void of tolerance. No tolerance for torture in the film, captured aliens (despite having plot-furthering potential) are killed swiftly.For the finale, the resupplying of alien weaponry reduces the idiocy of EoT where a single man on a single day saves the entire planet. It is instead a critical moment in a long struggle, which carries on after the credits.

Memento.

A bloody good film. Here’s my alternative to the dominant reading. You can check that out here.

Trusting the film-maker, Leonard Shelby’s condition is legitimate. Teddy is the surviving rapist-killer from the Incident and the psycopathic mastermind. He then learnt that Leonard had anterograde amnesia, and started calling to torment him for sadistic pleasure. Ultimately Teddy began to vicariously live out his own vile fantasies through Leonard. The film documents the end, so when Teddy is killed it is the true fulfilment of Leonard’s one remaining goal.

In the film Leonard speaks to the effect that emotional memories carry over where explicitly clear memories do not. To an extent, this can be rephrased, conscious memories fade where subconscious memories last. Despite this he does not greet Teddy with warmth. The wrong car prank, as well as others, does not result in any visible mood change of Leonard, despite that being a common, subconscious emotional response. A dearth of warmth between Teddy & Leonard is suggested by this pattern.

Teddy learnt about Leonard remembering Sammy in one of the earlier, prior to film events, tormenting conversations. This early memory enabled a greater degree of suffering to be inflicted by Teddy. When Leonard appears as Sammy, in the black & white memory, this is self delusion, repeatedly encouraged by Teddy. It is a dark reflection of the repeated sentence, we all tell ourselves lies to make ourselves happy. Well the lie is one he told himself, driven by darkness within & without. Therefore, knowledge of Leonard’s wife is beyond certainty within the film universe as anything subsequent to the Incident is dubious.

When on the phone, Leonard appears agitated. When he uncovers the “Don’t Answer The Phone” tattoo, he is agitated. Despite having known Teddy for some time, he doesn’t treat him any friendlier than Burt, the hotel clerk. He tells Natalie he is bad on the phone, partially because of the continuing emotional turmoil deliverd via that method by Teddy. The notes on his body, from 1-5 represent kills and are a self scaring act to redeem the guilt carried by his subconscious. When Teddy presents the photo of Leonard on the night he supposedly avenged his wife, it is actually the first time the psychopathic Teddy succeeded in his most perverse fantasy. Once Leonard can properly destroy the record of his ignorant actions, by burning the photo, he executes Teddy, a development which is contingent on the events of the film. The finale, Leonard achieves retribution and destroys the evidence which would see him hold higher responsibility than Teddy.