An uninspired mix of stag comedy and sci-fi
If you’ve ever been on a stag do, you’ll know that they usually fall short of expectations. A night out or a weekend with a group of friends might seem like a good idea but in reality, somebody always takes offence (usually the groomsman) and somebody always finds themselves in a compromising position (the groomsman again).
If you never have experienced a stag do, you will already have an idea of how bad they can be after seeing them on screen. The Hangover, A Few Less Men, and The Stag are just a few of those films that showcase what can go wrong when you’re celebrating with your besties and if you’re looking for another, you can now add Blasted to the list.
This one is slightly different, however, as it’s as much a sci-fi movie as a stag comedy. This Norwegian tale tells the story of Sebastian, an unconfident young executive at an investment firm who heads off for a few days away with his friends for an extended bachelor party.
Well, we say friends as out of the four people that are in Seb’s group, one is an old childhood friend that he has tried to distance himself from and another is a potential client that he invites on the trip purely for business purposes.
The first half of the movie is undoubtedly the funniest when we watch this mismatched group get together and awkwardly try to bond. The talented young cast plays well off each other and their comic interplay is sometimes a joy to behold. It’s a shame that they are later separated when events take a turn for the unusual as the movie becomes far less enjoyable as a result.
Shortly after arriving at their stag destination, a village in Norway that is popular with UFO enthusiasts, the group’s fun and games are interrupted by an alien invasion.
Sadly, this isn’t just some prank set up by one of Sebastian’s friends as they really are beset upon by blubbery-looking monsters that wouldn’t look too out of place in a 1970’s Doctor Who episode. These aren’t the only foes they have to face as they also have to deal with their fellow humans who have been turned by the aliens into zombie-like creatures with glowing green eyes.
Luckily, Seb and his old childhood friend were once laser-tag champions, and as his old compadre has come armed and ready with a laser gun, they have a way of defeating their extraterrestrial foes. As they face off against the enemy that threatens to zombify them, the other members of the group get abducted and taken to an alien spacecraft. Meanwhile, a female police officer learns of their plight and gets involved in their battle for survival.
Now, the premise of the movie is quite good and is similar in concept to The World’s End, Edgar Wright’s sci-fi comedy that saw Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, and the rest of their friends take on the alien foes who interrupted their epic pub crawl. Unfortunately, Blasted falls apart in several key areas.
For one thing, the film starts to lose its bearings when the group put aside their differences to fight back against the alien invasion. Whereas the scenes before were rather sharp and witty, the scenes afterwards become overly silly and not particularly funny.
If the special effects were any good this could have been excused but as you can guess from my previous reference to these invading do-badders, they are mostly rather crude. Admittedly, this isn’t always the case but there was never a moment when I was wowed by what I was seeing on the screen.
Another issue is the film’s length. At nearly two hours long, it did test my patience at times. If the story was more involving, I would have been more invested but as the plot gets sillier, my interest eventually waned.
The playing of the cast can’t be faulted though as they all turn in enthusiastic performances. They are still fun to watch, even when the film enters the realms of mediocrity, but it’s just a shame that they didn’t get to share more scenes together before the sci-fi elements kicked in.
I much preferred the awkward interplay between the group during the early part of the film and I would have loved to spend more time with them enjoying/enduring the stag party. But when the aliens eventually arrived, they invaded my viewing pleasure as much as the corner of Norway that they landed in!
Ultimately, this is yet another Netflix Original that you will immediately forget about after you have seen it and deleted it from your streaming watchlist.
With a tighter script, improved special effects, and a little more creativity, it could have been a lot more enjoyable. Instead, Blasted has more in common with those stag parties that promise a few hours of fun and frivolity but which dissolve into embarrassment and mediocrity instead.
Verdict - 4.5/10