REVIEW: ‘Blasted’ Is A Ridiculously Entertaining Sci-Fi Romp

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Blasted - But Why Tho

Blasted is a Norwegian-language Netflix Original Film directed by Martin Sofiedal and written by Emanuel Nordrum. Sebastian (Axel Bøyum) is attempting to land an investor for his independent business while also preparing for his upcoming nuptials. At the insistence of his co-workers Pelle (Eirik Hallert) and Audun (Matthias Luppichini), Sebastian decides to invite potential investor Kasper (André Sørum) along. But his plans to impress Kasper go south once he learns that his fiance also invited his old childhood friend/laser tag partner Mikkel (Fredrik Skogsrud).

The festivities are cut short when a race of alien invaders starts possessing the local residents and Sebastian ends up caught in the middle of it. Luckily for him, Mikkel learns that his laser tag guns are the only weapons that can expel the aliens from their host bodies, as said aliens are extremely susceptible to certain light frequencies. Sebastian and Mikkel strap on their laser tag gear and take the fight to the invaders, while also attempting to reconcile their broken relationship.

Though Netflix has hit a bit of a bumpy road this year, the streamer has proven to excel in two areas: its genre fare and foreign language projects. Blasted proves to be the best of both worlds, as it’s set entirely in Norway and the idea of defeating an alien invasion with nothing but laser tag gear is a really fun hook for a film. And even though it has a fraction of the budget that most major blockbusters do, it more than makes up for it with a great pair of leads and a willingness to embrace its nutty premise. For example, the alien-possessed citizens are distinguished by their glowing green eyes as well as their guttural growls. And when they’re hit by laser fire, a thick green slime bursts out of their body. This kind of approach has led to hidden gems like Ark Exitus and Ike Boys, and it works especially well for Blasted.

And like all great sci-fi romps, the fantastic elements are a metaphor for the underlying human issues. In this case, it’s Sebastian and Mikkel’s friendship. Sebastian thinks he’s outgrown laser tag and wants to start looking toward the future, while Mikkel thinks he’s only focused on his career and has nothing else in his life. The film manages to find the middle ground between both points of view, while also repairing the relationship between both protagonists. Boyum and Skogsrud make for a great odd couple, with Boyum playing the straight man and Skogsrud playing a man in a perpetual state of arrested development. This leads to some hilarious moments, including a moment where Sebastian chides Mikkel for crashing a 12-year-old’s birthday just so he can play laser tag.

The rest of the characters don’t fare as well. There’s not much to Kasper besides “rich snob” and “loving his car” (the two even go hand in hand with a license plate featuring a large rooster. Make your own jokes). Pelle and Adun also have little in the way of distinguishing characteristics, to the point where the audience will wonder what they’re doing there or even why Sebastian is friends with them. Likewise, the film struggles to fill out its two-hour runtime, although a post-credits tag suggests that there might be a sequel on the way if enough Netflix viewers check this series out.

Blasted makes for a ridiculous but extremely entertaining sci-fi adventure that can best be described as “The Hangover meets Men in Black. If you have Stranger Things or Umbrella Academy-related withdrawals, this is worth a watch. It’s also a nice shake-up from the usual movie recommendations if you’re not feeling particularly patriotic this Fourth of July weekend.

Blasted is currently available to stream on Netflix.


Blasted
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Blasted makes for a ridiculous but extremely entertaining sci-fi adventure that can best be described as “The Hangover meets Men in Black. If you have Stranger Things or Umbrella Academy-related withdrawals, this is worth a watch. It’s also a nice shake-up from the usual movie recommendations if you’re not feeling particularly patriotic this Fourth of July weekend.

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