UK Release date: 14th February 2011
Watched on DVD Sunday 11th March 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I know it’s quite rare for me to watch and review a comedy, but I decided that on a Sunday morning with a bad back I needed a bit of a laugh. This was a bit of an odd choice for me because I find Pegg and Frost a bit of a mixed bag… I liked ‘Hot Fuzz’ where as, controversially, I found ‘Shaun of the Dead’ a bit too predictable for my liking (I know I’m gonna get slagged off for that!). Also, from what I’ve seen of Seth Rogen’s work, he has yet to make me laugh… not even once. The film had a pretty good reaction in the press and so I hit the PLAY button with just a little trepidation. I’ll tell you what I thought after this very brief summary.
Two British sci-fi geeks, Graeme Willy and Clive Gollings, having visited Comic-Con, decide to go on a road trip around the famous American UFO hotspots. They hire an RV and the trip seems to be going well until, outside Area 51, they witness an accident and rescue Paul… an alien. He convinces them to help him escape ‘The Big Guy’ and her agents, Zoil, Haggard and O’Reilly. They head north and stop at an RV park where they meet Ruth Buggs, a fundamentalist Christian who accidently sees Paul. They now have to take her with them as they try to evade capture in a race against time to get Paul back to his people. I won’t say any more or the Spoiler Police (Aliens Division) will have me probed (again).
Very well made with some nice CGI work and effects; I also very much liked the choice of music, but if you open with ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ by The Only Ones you’ve got me right there! All the performances were pretty good, although I particularly liked Kristen Wiig as Ruth Buggs, she really stood out for me performance-wise. Of the others, well, Simon Pegg as Graeme Willy and Nick Frost as Clive Gollings pretty much did what they usually do and Seth Rogen as the voice of Paul was just about what I expected. I’ll give honourable mentions to; Jason Bateman as Agent Zoil, Bill Hader as Haggard, Joe Lo Truglio as O’Reilly and, not forgetting, Sigourney Weaver as The Big Guy.
A film littered with nods and homage’s to many classic sci-fi movies; you could spend hours going through it and noting them all. This could be distracting, but, as it’s a comedy, I’ll let it slide (this time). I thought the theological question was handled quite well, although I can see it not going down too well in certain quarters. It’s a well scripted piece although I did get the feeling it had been very much ‘tweaked’ towards the American market; although a couple of ‘Brit’ in-jokes did squeak through. I must say I did enjoy it though and, at the end of the day, it did what it said on the tin. I was afraid it would go off in a certain direction at one point, but in the end they managed to steer it home! Would I watch it again?... Yes!... Recommended.
My score: 7.0/10.
IMDb Score: 7.1/10 (based on 75,553 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 71/100 (based on 189 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 70/100 (based on 80,163 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Clive Gollings: [Putting the phone to his ear] It's ringing.
Paul: [Out of view] I wouldn't do that if I were you
[Clive and Graham turn around]
Paul: Put... the phone... down!
Clive Gollings: [Falling backwards fainting] Ha ha ha ha ha!
Paul: Aw fuck me.
Graeme Willy: [Looks to his right, then down, and then back at the approaching alien] What did you do to him?
Paul: I didn't do anything to him - he fainted!
Graeme Willy: But you made him faint!
Paul: It's not like I set my Phaser to faint!
Graeme Willy: You've got a Phaser?
Ruth Buggs: The world is 4000 years old and can only be the product of intelligent design.
Paul: [off-screen in the bathroom] That's horseshit!
Ruth Buggs: So everything that I have been told my whole life, is just a big fat lie? Do you know how that feels?
Graeme Willy: Look. Just because your truth, isn't the true truth, doesn't mean there is no truth, Ruth.
Ruth Buggs: That's easy for you to say.
Graeme Willy: It's really not.
Paul: This is America. Kidnapping a Christian is worse than harbouring a fugitive.