Movie Review: Does 'Attraction 2: Invasion' Satisfy As A Sequel?

Attraction 2: Invasion Vtorzhenie Oleg Menshikov Colonel Lebedev Irina Starshenbaum Yulya Lebedeva Rinal Mukhametov Hakon Khariton
Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing, Walt Disney Studios
It is the sequel that many who watched it probably hoped would happen. Is it the one first-movie-fans wanted? “Attraction 2: Invasion” (“Vtorzhenie”) picks up two years after the events of the original film (“Attraction”) and the cliffhanger it ended with as Hakon’s fate appeared doomed. Would there be a sequel if that were true? You can probably do the math.

Returning to Russia, viewers get plunged back into Yulya’s orbit as she continues processing her near-death experience and the “death” of her heroic alien boyfriend. Before long, her sad reality without Hakon (Rinal Mukhametov) gets shaken, and she is plunged headlong into another adventure. Hence, the existence of “Attraction 2: Invasion.”

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There are some to-be-expected developments paired with some far less obvious ones. For one, that Alexander Petrov (“The Method”) is back as Yulya’s ex-boyfriend, Artyom, and he returns armed with one of the best storylines the sequel has to offer. After acting against Hakon to “Better Than Us” levels of prejudice, Artyom actually learns something and evolves.

It is a redemptive arc that serves as a pleasant surprise, and it hits as an organic one to boot. Yes, this despite Artyom’s vindictive rampage in the first movie. A development credited to Fedor Bondarchuk’s (“Locust”) direction and storytelling abilities paired with Alexander Petrov’s best-viewed performance. In many ways, Artyom’s story upstages Yulya and Hakon’s romantic drama. It serves as the centerpiece storyline more so than theirs.

If you had told me that heading into “Attraction 2: Invasion”, I would probably have not believed that development to be a good/entertaining thing. I would have been wrong. There are a lot of wrongs that get righted in this 2+ hour movie. The time flies by. Yulya (Irina Starshenbaum) treats her dad (a fantastic Oleg Menshikov) better in the sequel.

On that note, the second outing does masterful work of building on the characters and themes introduced in the first movie. Humanity gets rave reviews in this story, and humans seem far worthier of it this time around. Outside of its script, “Attraction 2: Invasion” employs spectacular visuals to tell its ambitious tale. 

If you believe you may have big-budget fatigue, fear not. Like “Flight Crew,” this is not a pointless action-oriented presentation of unrelenting bedlam. There is a reason for all of it, and the sequel avoids the mind-numbing quality of its genre peers to provide something captivating. For those seeking closure from the first movie, you have got it. 

If you are interested in continuing the journey and getting the sense it could continue, you get that too. “Attraction 2: Invasion” leaves the door both open and ajar for further excitement. The idea of continuing remains attractive after the sequel. Should Google (Evgeniy Mikheev) get more screen-time in the film? Yes. 

Could I have stood for better explanations for Yulya’s in-story appeal? Certainly. Like Bella Swan before her, it is tough to get the hype around Yulya. The good news is that she is far less abrasive in “Attraction 2,” which means that incongruity causing far less heartache than it did during the original film’s initial viewing. If there is a threequel, it should only improve.

Rating: 7.5/10

“Attraction 2: Invasion” is currently available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video (with English dubbing), which also streams a lot of wonderful Russian-language content for Prime members.