Riz Ahmed kicks off his efficiency on this new movie “Encounter” co-written and directed by Michael Pearce in excessive trauma mode. In a motel room during which the wallpaper appears to be sweating itself off, he kills gnarly trying bugs, conducts arcane analysis, sprays himself down with insect repellent. Who can blame him? A montage through the opening credit has proven us an alien invasion commandeered by mutated variations of our invertebrate buddies. Ahmed’s character, Malik, is likely one of the few left on earth uninfected by the now-parasitical creatures who’re taking management of the human inhabitants.
It stands to motive, particularly in film phrases, that Malik has to guard his household, proper? However, his household isn’t the unit he desires it to be. His two sons, Jay and Bobby, 10 and less-than-ten respectively, reside on a farm with their mother Piya, and her new companion Dylan. Jay and Bobby can’t stand Dylan. Jay particularly is captivated by his actual dad’s letters, which discuss his secret missions as a world-saving soldier.
So when Malik comes into the boys’ bedroom within the wee small hours of the morning and proposes a race to see which ones could make it to Malik’s automotive first, they’re desirous to take part. Malik is briefly relieved to have forcibly taken custody of his youngsters. The higher to guard them against the alien risk.
However, let’s maintain on a second. Even when Malik is doing the suitable factor, even when he’s really a hero, his erratic conduct is so tricky, so jumpy, so impulsive, so flecked with hatefulness, that it doesn’t simply elevate a crimson flag. The man’s a complete rattling coloration guard.
For some time Pearce does a really intelligent balancing act, taking on regular basis unpleasantries and grotesqueries of life and exaggerating them simply so. Jay, who himself enjoys drawing sci-fi monsters, proves particularly vulnerable to Malik’s visions—even earlier than Malik has absolutely articulated them to his older child. As automotive points and different troubles crop up, Malik grows extra unraveled, and shortly the forces of the regulation, who’ve taken on Malik’s variety parole officer as an adjunct, are pursuing the trio.
Ahmed’s efficiency has plenty of ability and conviction fueling it. And the remainder of the solid is splendid. Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada, who play Jay and Bobby, are means, above-average youngster actors. Rory Cochrane is marvelously terse as a pessimistic fed, and Octavia Spencer has heat to spare as Malik’s solely buddy.
However, Pearce ultimately overplays his hand. A sequence during which Malik knocks out a shotgun-toting ‘Murican who simply occurs to be a useless ringer for Steve Bannon is just the start of a foul patch. The MAGA man’s MAGA son will get out their automated weapons and go a-huntin’, and the film’s sociopolitical waters are roiled and muddied. And the movie lastly devolves right into a species of hostage porn, with Ahmed’s character so stretched that he brings to thoughts the unlucky adage about how simply since you’re mentally unwell it doesn’t imply you’re not being a you-know-what. And naturally, you recognize that your exasperation is being summoned for the only objective of forcing you to place that emotional toothpaste again within the tube. It’s dishonest, showy filmmaking.