With a title like this you know that you’re gonna be in for a fun sci-fi ride. Well, Battle in Outer Space definitely does not disappoint on that front. You’ve got a lot going on here right from the jump and the pacing never slows down. The movie actually goes on past where I thought it was going to end and makes for a good final act. While I would have liked the aliens to have definitely appeared more, I can’t say that the film ultimately disappointed me. It had a lot of fun moments throughout.
The film starts off with a lot of crazy disasters happening across the planet. It’s almost as if gravity just stops working at times which is making things very tricky. The UN holds a summit and while this is going on the aliens abduct Dr. Ahmed using some kind of tractor beam. When he shows up again to sabotage things the scientists are ready and take him out. We are able to locate the enemy base in space and so we send a rocket over there to stop them. What will make matters difficult though is how easily they can mind control someone. What if one of the main characters has been taken? Iwamura and Katsumiya have two main objectives. They have to stop the aliens once and for all, then they also have to rescue Etsuko who was kidnapped.
Let me start off with the weakest part of the film which is definitely the fact that the aliens barely appear at all throughout the story. There is one main scene where you actually see them but they look super weak as Katsumiya is able to take down a bunch of them. Basically these guys are not immune to the space guns and also have no super strength. Katsumiya literally just runs over and grabs Etsuko. He then pulls her out despite the two of them being surrounded by so many aliens. Even all of them combined weren’t able to do anything to him and that’s just a bad look.
It’s clear that the aliens absolutely need their tech to win in this case as the individual aliens are super weak. It’s certainly an odd thing to see as you’re usually used to the aliens looking really tough and formidable. That just wasn’t the case here, not by a longshot. I liked the tech and they certainly talk a good game from behind the loudspeakers but that’s about it. You would need to see a whole lot more out of them in order to really have any kind of confidence in them as true antagonists.
Well, I suppose you don’t need a strong antagonist to have a good alien invasion film and this title proves it. The reason I enjoyed this film first boils down to the writing. The film stays engaging throughout as we have quality characters here and a solid story going on. I always like a classic alien invasion and getting to see the United Nations deliberating about it was cool. We really got to see the governmental side of things here as there is no super main character here to save the day.
Katsumiya would be the main character here but he’s not some super skilled CIA fighter or someone that can stop the invasion with a well placed explosive. He’s just here to save Etsuko and then get out. The army is still the one pulling in the big guns to try and stop the invasion as a whole. It’s not so easy to take on so many fighters like that and this is a movie that is using a teamwork approach. Then there is Iwamura but unfortunately he doesn’t look great here. He is often out of his depths and so he isn’t able to be nearly as helpful. Etsuko unfortunately spends a decent chunk of the movie being kidnapped so she isn’t able to help too much either.
So the individuals aren’t the important factor here but what the army is doing to stop these aliens. The movie definitely nails that aspect right out of the gate. The aliens also deal a whole lot of damage to the planet so you know that even if they are defeated, it’s not going to immediately be all sunshine and smiles for the heroes. Now I mentioned how the film seemed like it was about to end. Well, the main chunk of the film is the rescue mission in space and of course we start blasting away but then we get a whole other act on Earth as the aliens prepare another assault.
It does make sense in hindsight that they still had more weapons at the ready but it had just felt like so much of a climax already in space. Regardless it was nice to get some extra action at the end there. You can never have too much combat after all. I don’t think this will end up being more memorable than most of the other big action titles out there. It really lacked the aliens in an alien invasion film but since the rest of the elements were still in play it ended up working out.
Overall, Battle in Outer Space is a film that I would recommend people to check out but I would do so with the reservation that they know the aliens won’t really be appearing. It’s important to underscore that since some people may go in expecting them to not only be appearing but to get a big role. It’s totally understandable but the film is engaging enough even without them. A modern remake would probably be fun with this concept but in the meantime I just enjoy any alien invasion film I can get my hands on. Particularly one from the olden days like this installment since they really knew how to build up to the attacks and have a lot of very solid dialogue between the characters. It’s all handled in a rather low key/calm way that you wouldn’t expect to usually see. There’s not much more to say about the film because it is quiet direct and the story is straight forward. What you see is what you get and in this case that works out well.