Link to src: an intersting article about Riz Ahmed's role in the film

WARNING: SPOILERS ALL UP IN THIS BITCH (also discussions of racism and psychosis)

Encounter is a really shitty name for this movie. It's so painfully generic. I think a better name for this film would be "Invasion", which I'll explain more in a bit.


I liked the cinematography in this movie! It didn't feel too generic: there were some cool shots that added to the spectacle of the film. Nothing too wild or avant-garde, though.

Soundtrack existed. Voices existed. Volume ratio between them was fine.

The intro was wild and perfectly sets up the movie to be exactly what it isn't. I love when movies have cool animated intros like this. Wish Bond movies weren't the only movies that got classic movie intros nowadays (I say that although this intro can't really be considered a classic movie intro).


Riz Ahmed steals the show. He was super expressive here, and he absolutely sells the rollercoaster ride this movie is. We get moments where Malik actually seems like a cool guy. Then he yells violently at his youngest son and we remember he is not actually the Best Dad Ever(tm). Malik's best friend in the film says how Malik has a badass switch that he can switch on and off. Ahmed seems to have all of his emotions on a switchboard, and it's great for this unpredicable, unstable character.

His two sons, Jay and Bobby, are also good. Child actors? Who are good?? Whaaaaaaaat??? I especially felt that Jay did a great job, even though the script made him a bit too poetic at times (like in the ending).

The other cast members exist. The parole officer was cool. But that's about all I can remember right now. Really, this film is the Malik, Jay, and Bobby show.


Basic summary: Best Dad Ever(tm) Malik Khan takes his two sons on a post-apocalyptic roadtrip to get them to safety against an alien parasite that turns people into shells of their former selves.


Turns out, Malik actually has PTSD-endused psychosis from eating crayons for way too long, and he's kidnapping his two sons so he can bring them along in his cop-fleeing adventures. Thus, it is up to the people who know him to stop the Fucking Government(r) from making him into swiss cheese.

It was great to have to go "wait... is this actually real or not" in the middle of the movie. I was sort of fearing it would do a cop-out like "HAHA THE CRAZY GUY WAS RIGHT THE WHOOOOOOOOOLE TIME!!1!" (kinda like that one game I can't say without spoiling it) but thankfully it did not do that.

The action scene in this film came out of nowhere but I thought was fun. Of course, if you tease Malik having a badass mode, you gotta find an excuse to turn that badass mode on. Weird how the AR-15 didn't come into play in the ending; that was a missed opportunity. Also... WHY DO YOU HAVE FULL-AUTO KRISS VECTORS AND AR-15'S?? If you were true fudds, you'd be trying to kill Malik with 50 year old Mosin Nagants and SKS's and your ivory gripped 1911's with intricate tactically-defficient engravings.

I watched this movie with my aunt and her boyfriend and they did not like the ending. I think the fact that Malik trained the kids on guns with that whole "if shit is going down, pull the heater out" mentality and the fact that Jay's mental stability isn't doing so hot either justifies him pulling a gun out. The ending is very abrupt with no resolution, but I think it's fitting for a rollercoaster like this.

Other Things

It's great to get racially diverse lead characters. According to an article about his casting (link on header pic), the script was originally written for a white dude, but was changed on Ahmed's casting to subtily reflect the racial dynamic at play. This is most obvious in the scene where a cop pulls him over for literally pissing on the side of the road with his son (weeeeeeeeeell it was technically because he was pissing on the side of the road with his son without turning his hazards on but when Malik goes "what, there was no-one on the road" the cop legit pulls the "wELL, I wAs oN tHe rOaD" excuse). It was clear that this Premium cracker cop was just looking for an excuse to fill a quota.

But the problem with this scene is how its commentary depends heavily on the context of your first viewing. At this point, you don't really know that Malik is not okay: you're still going along with the sci-fi narrative he (and by extension, the movie with its intro) is selling. This scene, especially the hallucination at the end, is reinforcement of that narrative. Oh no, the cop is infected! Phew, Malik saved the day. When you go back to see it a second time, you see it with the context that Malik is, in fact, not okay. This obviously means that the hallucination wasn't real, but it could also give way to a justification for the cop's swinny behavior: this brown man was actually dangerous, so pulling over random brown men pissing on the side of the highway is a good idea! :D (spoiler alert: no it is not, defund police and use the money to build mental health and community programs in impoverished areas)

This could be me just cancel culturing, though. Alternatively, you could say if the cop was being controlled or influenced by a parasite, that could excuse away the abuse of power (see, cops are only bad when they are infected by extraterrestrial parasites ;]); the fact that the parasite wasn't real means that, yes, the cop did this shitty act all by himself. Really, anyone will interpret the greater picture of this scene any way they want to. We live in a world now where our opinions are so entrenched as fact that one little movie isn't gonna make you jump off the All Lives Matter ship (which you should btw).

Finally, the name... "Invasion" I think would be a better fit. At first, you think it's about an alien invasion... but later you realize it's really Malik invading into his sons' lives and dealing with the psychotic invasions in his head. Eh? Eh? Let me know what you think in the comments.

So yee. We also watched The Unforgivable which was fuckin great so I'll be talking about that soon. Also, I tried to switch over to WordPress but the hastle was just too much. I will likely move to my own hosting at some point so I can have my own comments system that shares accounts with a general discussion forum (and maybe TeamSpeak???) but I don't think that's happening for a long time.

See y'all later!