Sometimes people make drinking games out of things they watch. It can be a political debate, and the rules state that every time the word “economy” or “Obamacare” is brought up, you take a shot. Well, this is the perfect family movie because kids age 7 to 15 will adore it, and folks 21 and up can make a drinking game out of it. Here’s how that would work. Any time there’s a scene plagiarized from another movie – you take a drink. In the hour and a half, you’ll be sloshed after the scenes that were from Goonies, Super8, Stand by Me, Chronicle, Cloverfield, Escape to Which Mountain, and a few more I’m forgetting. Oh, and that’s not even counting E.T. Starting with the movie poster outside the theatre (an alien, and a boy sticking his finger out to touch it). This could be a scene for a scene remake, minus the bicycle levitation and Reese’s Pieces.
All that being said, I have to admit it was likable. The kids had such great chemistry and were fun to watch in their little adventure.
Tuck Astros is the narrator who is documenting things with his hand-held camera. Their Nevada town is being broken up by a superhighway, and they want to chronicle their last days together. When their cell phones start doing weird things, they first suspect spies. That quickly changes to aliens, and a construction crew that seems really interested in them and what they’ve discovered. And really, how can you not root for a group of kids that are actually acting their age and saying witty things? When Tuck is trying to convince his crew that the spy glasses aren’t nerdy (despite looking like Urkele when he puts them on), he claims to have gotten the phone number of a girl in the cafeteria, and talks about what their kiss was like. Yes, we can all see how this will come back to haunt him when the girl (Ella Wahlestedt) tags along with this group later, but so what. Let the kids have their fun with this film.
There’s an innocent about this movie that kept the smile on my face. For example, they go into a biker bar. As you listen to Mississippi Queen blaring from the jukebox, and scan the crowd staring at them, you wonder what type of barroom brawl will ensue. Instead, a hefty motorcycle mama lifts a boy on the barstool and says, “Get this kid a Shirley Temple!”
Then there’s Echo, the little mechanical alien. He can understand the kids, and we get some cute interactions with them. At one point Tuck asks if they eat humans during a series of “20 questions.”
I’m a little confused as to why it’s rated PG. I don’t recall any foul language, and the movie it borrowed most from (E.T.) was also rated PG. Yet that movie had a 7-year-old Drew Barrymore call her brother “penis breath.”
If you take your kids to this, you won’t have to worry about lines like that. Sit back and enjoy some mediocre family entertainment that the children will enjoy.
I’m giving it 2 ½ stars out of 5.