By Natasha Samreny
“Now don’t get me wrong, you’ll see very many impressive things on this tour. But there are no aliens to be found in Area 51.”
The general lies. There are aliens, and when they get loose the reporters are there to catch everything on camera. Good aliens, bad aliens, guns and journalists – all you need for a rockin’ alien movie.
Ten minutes in and Patient Zero is out. After being held hostage for 25 years, the alien with a DNA switch can morph into anyone he’s ever seen, and sets a trap for his captors to kill his way out of Area 51. Ascending the hidden levels of secretive military prison, he morphs into his human military captors and opens the doors for his alien co-captives, initiating a prison bust that ends in an all-out human-extra-terrestrial battleful of bloodshed.
Jason London plays one of the soldiers called to turn on the secrets they’ve been unknowingly but obediently guarding. It’s random to see him out of his mainstream, comedic and heartthrob straits but he London’s actually a veteran to independent sci-fi productions lately. His counterpart for this one is the impressive female soldier and leader Sgt. Hannah played by Rachel Miner.
The cast of believable and assertive women characters is one of this film’s strengths, leading to a moment at the film’s climax where the only survivors are the women: a service member, a reporter, and a camera woman … with London of course, and some of the aliens.
The story starts with Colonel Martin (Bruce Boxleitner) leading a group of journalists through the first tour of the mysterious Area 51. He plans to keep them at bay and restricted to the upper unclassified levels of the compound, distracting them with showy technology toys to satiate their curiosity regarding alien legends.
But when Patient Zero decides this is the day he will break free, the tables turn and chaos ensues – turning the victims into the hostage-takers and the captors into fugitives. The reporters not only discover the compound’s long-held secret of extra-terrestrial existence but become part of the legendary monsters’ carnivorous journey of vengeance.
If you like aliens, gore and suspenseful sci-fi battle scenes, this one’s for you. Strong woman characters help the story along for me. As well as the kind hostage-turned-helper alien J.R. The behind-the-scenes film was more interesting and enjoyable than the feature presentation for me.