Two Words: Fucking Blaster Bombs.

The Spoony One | Apr 29 2009 | more notation(s) | 

Get me Michael Bay.

X-Com

If you’ve played the games, I probably don’t need to say anything else to sell you on this one. It’s fucking X-Com, people; the game where we, as a united planet, saw UFOs abducting our cattle for depraved sexual reasons and said “no more!”

Okay, yeah, I know, this is basically the plot of every sci-fi movie ever: a fleet of aliens circles the earth and invades, scooping out our brains and probing our anuses, and the only thing that will save us is a group of muscular, gun-toting badasses led by (insert action star here).

I never promised this was going to be deep. Simple is good. Simple is accessible. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with going with a winning formula, and when it comes to summer blockbusters, nothing beats a good old-fashioned alien invasion. The gleefully-vapid, balls-to-the-wall action flicks of the 80s are something of a relic, but you don’t have to look any farther than the Crank series to see that movies come in a lot of different flavors, and sometimes you crave a Red Bull. I just want to stay on-message with this movie, not overcomplicate it with unwelcome comic relief and action movie cliches. Whenever you see an alien attack movie anymore, they try to emulate Aliens by playing up the suspense and horror more than the action. They play out more like a slasher flick than an action movie, lots of cheap scares and orchestra stings.

Sure, the X-Com game is actually very slow-paced, with a lot of stalking around in dark corridors with aliens lurking in the shadows, just waiting to leap out and attack. There’s room for that in the movie, but only in the early stages when the marines don’t really know what they’re up against. Just think of a Chrysalid terror attack where X-Com encounters a town full of mind controlled and infected zombified civilians. But once the invasion is in full-swing, I want this movie to be exciting. These aliens aren’t hiding, this is an invasion!

I want the focus of this movie to be on small-squad tactics. My vision is Black Hawk Down, but with aliens: a series of loud, intense, chaotic running battles, but at its core is a group of trained killers who know what they’re doing, and they don’t rattle. I’m annoyed at how panicky and ineffective Earth’s armed forces are against giant monsters and alien threats. X-Com gave us a real feeling of empowerment, of overcoming the odds and adapting to the aliens’ gameplan. They have better weapons? That’s okay, we’ll pry them out of their cold, dead hands and use them ourselves. That’s what I want here: a real sense of teamwork. No stupid alien weaknesses like “water” (Signs) or the giant blue fuck-me light on the alien mothership (Independence Day), just salt-of-the-earth jarheads doing what they do better than anyone else, and then striking a match on the charred husks of their enemies for a celebratory cigar.

There’s nothing not to like! Aliens, marines, cool outfits, big guns, explosions, airplanes, spaceships, powered armor for the otaku, psychic powers and exploding heads, and it’s even got a feel-good message of global unity.

And this needn’t be the brainless summer entertainment you normally expect out of movies like this. I know I’ve been describing a faceless mob of disposable marines as our main protagonists, but there’s a lot of room for characters and subplots. Your main action focus will be on the X-Com operatives on the ground, of course, but you’ve also got your squadron of hotshot Interceptor pilots engaging in aerial battles. The main protagonist could be a civilian caught up in a terror attack who discovers psychic powers vital in fending off the Sectoid menace. And then there’s the grizzled commander of the X-Com forces who has to deal with all the uncooperative politicians and diplomats responsible for funding the operation. There’s definitely at least one alien agent among them, just waiting for the opportunity to transmit the location of X-Com’s hidden base to a strike fleet. How about deranged alien sympathizers actively interfering with X-Com operations? Turncoat nations seeking to strike an alliance with their new alien overlords? Corrupt megacorporations seeking to capture and exploit these new technologies! You could go anywhere with this.

And the toys! My god, man, the toys you could sell! Talk about a built-in action figure and vehicle line. Video game re-releases! TV options! I’ll be rich!

All I know is that I want a scene where a marine in powered armor fires a blaster bomb at a target hiding inside a doorway a mile away, programming waypoints so that it navigates around the door, takes a sharp u-turn and flies directly up the alien’s ass, even though the explosion would have been sufficient to kill it twice over if he’d gotten it anywhere within a hundred yards of the poor sap.

You’d have to wipe my jizz off the screen with a squeegee, man.

And I haven’t even mentioned the built-in “Terror From the Deep” sequel.

Lobstermen, guys. Lobstermen.