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

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

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.