Main cast: Bren Foster (Martin Fell), Denise Richards (Johana), Randy Couture (Agent Ray Bowie), Marek Vasut (Lance Ivanov), Sabina Rojková (Teri), Jordan Haj (Robert), Vojtech Dyk (Andrej), Massimo Dobrovic (Albert), Andrea Pomeje (Barista), Miroslav Simunek (David), and Pavel Bezdek (Jacek Palkowski)
Director: Keoni Waxman
Poor Bren Foster. Every publicity material for Alpha Code, not that there is many in the first place, makes the story out to be about Denise Richards’s character. The reality is that this movie is his character’s story, with Denise Richards’s character Johana showing up only in the second half of the movie. Mr Foster is the main star, the main action star, the main everything, basically, but I guess the folks behind this movie would rather try to bank on Denise Richards’s fame… if she still has any in this day and age. Look at the movie poster—Mr Foster in nowhere in sight.
Now, I’m going to be very honest here by saying that Bren Foster ranks pretty high up there in my list of martial artists-cum-actors that I enjoy looking at. After this one, though, I may have to move his name down the list by quite a number of notches. Is that hair he is sporting in this movie his real hair or a wig? I do wonder because, my god, he looks so much like a younger Eric Roberts here, especially from certain camera angles, especially with that hair. I have nothing against Mr Roberts, mind you. If you ask me, he’s far more tolerable than his annoying sister, but he’s not a drink that I thirst after, let’s just say.
Oh yes, the story. It sounds gripping on paper. Martin goes on a holiday in some cabin by the woods with his daughter when she is kidnapped by what could be aliens. The cops suspect that he’s murdered her, naturally. Martin is soon on the run, from the law and looking for a way to locate his daughter. He finds help from a mysterious voice on the phone, Johana, who seems to relate to his situation. Has she lost someone the same way Martin lost his daughter? Eventually Martin will come across a group of people that are in the same boat as him, in a conspiracy involving aliens and what not.
One of the biggest missteps this movie made is to show Martin cuddling with Johana in some dream sequence early in the movie. Thus, when the link between these characters is revealed late in the story, color me completely non-shocked and non-enthused. Why do these people do this to themselves? Did Ms Richards’s contract stipulated the need to show her face within the first fifteen minutes of the movie?
The rest of the movie isn’t done any better. The first half or so of the movie consists mostly of Martin either snapping at the cops or running away, without much fights or exciting events to distract me from noticing that these people are just running around in the same, limited number of locations. Things become even more boring once Martin meets Johana and the rest of the kidnapped-by-aliens support group gang. The second half of the movie is entirely exposition. I’m not kidding. From that point on, the movie will drop revelations after revelations, each one being dumped onto the audience by characters practically delivering monologues to one another. Even at the supposedly penultimate moment of the movie, it’s just Martin realizing yet another new thing and explaining everything loudly and slowly, like he’s in a lecture hall, to Johana.
Can’t these people find a better way to structure this movie? The first half is just boring scenes of people running around and talking tersely, while the second half is this movie squatting over my head and taking a huge info dump onto me.
Sadly, it’s not like the grand twists or revelations are interesting either. The whole thing ends up being some done-before, done-better take on alien abduction tropes with some half-baked “aliens deserve love too” nonsense thrown in.
Bren Foster is the only one that seems to be making an effort to act here, and boy, won’t he be disappointed when he realizes that the people behind this film are trying to frame the movie as Denise Richards’s star vehicle instead. Her character is barely a sidekick in this thing! Denise Richards looks like she has been dragged out of bed and is forced to be in this movie, and she is now on strike by not cooperating with the make-up department. Everyone else is just sort of there, which is to be expected when a movie cuts costs after footing the bill for its “big” American star by hiring non-American actors for cheap.
At any rate, Alpha Code is completely forgettable and uninteresting. With Bren Foster keeping his clothes on throughout, it is also devoid of any purpose for its existence. Let’s just pretend that it doesn’t exist and go watch something else.