Directed by – Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad, Marcos Martinez
Written by – Joe Stillman
Starring – Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, Sean William Scott, John Cleese, Freddie Benedict, Alan Marriott
I was kind of looking forward to seeing this one. It’s an interesting idea where the humans are the aliens, although we’re not trying to invade a planet despite what the aliens think. Instead of really enjoying this one, I found it to be pretty boring. The only good part of the film is the little robot probe that Earth had sent to the planet in advance of the astronaut. Of course the robot ends up seeming a little too much like Wall-E with its ability to emote through little more than actions and beeps and it’s insatiable need to collect rocks.
You would think with a human landing on an alien planet there would be plenty of gags about how the aliens live so differently from humans but there isn’t any. The aliens live exactly like humans. They eat the same, act the same, have the same love life problems. Instead of approaching the idea creatively, all they do is replace a planet full of humans with aliens and an alien coming to Earth with a human coming to the alien planet.
Even the kids were bored with this one. Normally I would think that was typical, but lately they haven’t had any problems sitting through a movie. This time even my daughter couldn’t sit still and seemed to just be wishing for it to end. It’s not a terrible movie. It looks great and there are some funny moments. The problem is the funny parts all involve the robot probe or the neighbourhood dog who’s pretty much a docile alien from Aliens. There’s an unnecessary sub-plot about the lead alien, Lem, being in love with his neighbour and how Chuck the astronaut helps him get the girl. Most of the movie is the alien government chasing Chuck and capturing him.
Personally I think there’s way too many missed opportunities for jokes here. It really was just kind of boring. You have this idea where humans are aliens and aliens are the humans but it’s not exploited. If they had made Chuck a little green man and he was landing on Earth, it would have been exactly the same movie. Doesn’t that really defeat the purpose of the film in the first place? You can easily see the best parts of this movie in the commercials so don’t bother paying to watch the rest. Maybe one day the studios will learn to stop putting all the funny parts in a trailer and people can go back to paying for a movie. Maybe my kids and I are spoiled on watching too many movies but I can’t imagine that many kids will be overly entertained by this one. I mean, if my daughter can’t wait for it to end then something is wrong.
Under the mistletoe – Will