'Invasion' review: Aliens attack, but no one's in a particular hurry

Apple TV+ series borrows liberally from other sources, but takes its time getting where it's going.

Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News

Here’s what sets “Invasion” apart from every other “space aliens are attacking earth” movie and TV show you’ve ever seen: Nothing.

True, the new Apple+ TV show does move verrrry slow, but it’s hard to see that as a huge positive. And some soapy subplots run through things, but again, not sure this is the place for illicit affairs, retirement dinners and LGBTQ pride. 

Sam Neill in "Invasion."

Apple TV+ is dropping the first three episodes of this show all at once and it’s easy to see why: It pretty much takes that long for anything to happen. And even then not much does.

On the other hand, it is a “space aliens are attacking Earth” show and as a species we love such fare. “Invasion” borrows much from “Independence Day,” “Falling Skies,” all the standards, although by episode five it seems to be leaning most on “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” 

There are far worse things to lean on. Maybe the show just needs to lean a little harder. It certainly needs to lean a lot faster.

This invasion plays out among different groups of people in different parts of the world.  In Japan a communications expert is trying to make sense of a space disaster. On Long Island a family finds its neighborhood mysteriously bombarded, forcing them to flee whatever’s doing the bombarding.

In England a group of schoolkids are stranded in the countryside after an accident, leading to  a less-than-subtle “Lord of the Flies” vibe. And somewhere in the Midwest a crop circle of sorts appears in a cornfield.

The most effective storyline follows an American soldier serving in Afghanistan. Except, oops, there are no longer any American soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Maybe all these different storylines are going to meet up, maybe they’re all going to keep wandering around. It will take great patience to find out which.

Tom Long is a longtime contributor to The Detroit News. 



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