My Favorite Martian

"OK"

My Favorite Martian Review


Disney's "My Favorite Martian" is bookended by the only two laughsin the whole movie. The opening scene cleverly takes a swipe at NASA'sMars Rover mission as a springboard into the story about a visitor fromthe red planet marooned in Los Angeles by a broken down spaceship.

One of the last scenes pays homage to the 1960s TV showthat inspired this film in a way that makes the insufferable comic vacuumthat precedes it almost forgivable -- but only if you're old enough toremember Ray Walston as the original Martian.

Walston has a supporting role in this big screen adaptation.He and the whiny and wonderful character actor Wallace Shawn ("Clueless,""My Dinner With Andre," etc.) play mock "Men in Black," government agents on the prowlfor an alien whose ship crash landed on the beach.

Their small roles provide the only real comedy in thisstring of pathetic sight gags loosely threaded together by the most insubstantialof plots.

But they're also secondary characters at best. Most ofthe film depends on Christopher Lloyd as the Martian and Jeff Daniels ashis unwilling Earthling guide, both of whom are just right for their partsbut spend the whole picture on auto-pilot, playing one-dimensional characterswith rubber faces.

It's easy to understand their lack of enthusiasm. Thismovie is a mess. Written by "Casper" scribes Sherri Stoner andDeanna Oliver (who are working on a "Roger Rabbit" sequel --god help us), and directed by Donald Petrie ("Grumpy Old Men"),fully a fourth of the screen time is taken up by a single sight gag: TheMartin's high-tech, wise-cracking space suit, which with the aid of computeranimation dances to Buster Poindexter tunes and inexplicably has a bettergrasp on Earth culture (mostly pop culture) than its owner does.

The rest of the cast isn't any better than the leads. ElizabethHurley embarrasses herself as a television reporter whose most prominentcharacter trait is her cleavage. Daryl Hannah doesn't come off any betteras Daniels' love interest, and she looks like a 35-year-old kindergartnerwith her hair in pig tails. The costume designer must have escaped froma mental ward.

Badly edited (different takes blended together in the samescene are distractingly obvious), plagued by sub-standard production valuesand riddled with gaping holes (SETI is portrayed as a military operation),"My Favorite Martian" is almost entirely predicated on low-browmisfires and the thinnest of story precepts (if NASA could tell the differencebetween a comet and a spaceship, there would be no plot).

Two or three times in its 88 minutes, the movie shows aglimmer of creativity, especially when it makes subtle nods to its predecessor(and to "Star Wars" as well -- one of the gadgets hasan R2-D2 audio drop as its sound effect). But "My Favorite Martian"even manages to blow its most promising moment (that closing homage) byshamelessly setting the stage for a sequel.

Let's hope it never comes.



My Favorite Martian

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th February 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $36.9M

Budget: $65M

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 12%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 37

IMDB: 4.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tim O'Hara, as Brace Channing, as Lizzie, as Oncle Martin (le Martien), as Dr. Elliott Coleye, as Loralie Brown, as Mr. Channing, T. K. Carter as Lenny

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.