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Alien Agent
cast: Billy Zane, Mark Dacascos, Amelia Cooke, Emma Lahana, and Kim Coates

director: Jesse Johnson

91 minutes (15) 2007
widescreen ratio 16:9
Sony DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
In recent months I have had the pleasure of reviewing some martial arts classics. In the sci-fi and martial arts cross-genre morph job that is Alien Agent there are plenty of high kicks, feigned hits and bloody action scenes to sate the appetite of those who just love fight after fight. But... it's just not very good, at all.

A group of aliens have travelled to Earth to take us over as their world in dying. Thankfully for the casting team, the aliens possess the bodies of humans as part of their evil and devious plan. Said aliens are breaking a decree made on their homeland not to come to an already inhabited planet, they are the baddies. Once again, the movie's makers strike it lucky in that the script has some good aliens who are willing to battle the powerful splinter group on Earth's behalf. Phew.

And that is the plot synopsis. This is then delivered as something akin to a martial arts movie made on an obviously low budget. There are fight scenes aplenty, and Mark Dacascos (better known for Iron Chef) shows quite admirable technique in most of these scenes and is clearly in this film for his collection of black belts. Plus, it is heartening to know that karate is taught on Rykker's planet. Rykker (Dacascos) is the one-man delegation sent to curb the plans of the evil Isis (Amelia Cooke) and her team of wannabe owners of Earth. Billy Zane as the evil Saylon commands the aliens and is clearly the most accomplished actor on show, but being the tallest dwarf in town doesn't mean you can reach the top shelf in a supermarket.

The scene editing and plausibility of the entire concept is hard to swallow at times - and obviously stretching an alien invasion story to beyond plausible levels is a feat in itself. Clearly, director Jesse Johnson had an idea for some scenes and then built the film around these which is the main gripe as some of the action scenes and how they come about just doesn't make much sense. For reference, the film pulls on the usual subplots and sequences: there are the car chases, innumerable fights and love interest - pretty standard fare for a low-budget cross-genre movie.

This has Sci-Fi Channel written all over it. It passes a spare 90 minutes with inoffensive entertainment without getting the viewer overexcited. If you enjoy mindless and predictable fighting, plastered against a backdrop of alien intrigue then this is for you. What Alien Agent fails to do, more than anything, is define itself. It sits between martial arts and sci-fi without ever convincing the viewer that it is either. A perfect example of a movie that cuts across multiple genre plains in this regard is Blade. Alien Agent falls way short of those standards, but is nonetheless watchable if not a movie that will change your life.

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