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IN SHORT: oh you're either going to get the joke or hate the thing. [Rated PG for bawdy and suggestive humor, action and some language. 90 minutes]
Through harsh space flies a cold, silvery orb. Its purpose? To seek out the salt water of a backwards planet called "earth" (Earth? Ha! It's made up of water!!!) and suck it all up. The salt, that is. For that seasalt is vital to the sustenance of the alien planet, apparently called Nil. Unfortunately, said orb bounces off an orbiting satellite and misses the oceans of our beloved planet by a mile. Almost literally, a mile, blasting through the lower Manhattan window of one Josh Morrison (Austin Meyers) whose widowed mom Gina (Elizabeth Banks) is a wee bit protective of her son, the smallest kid in the fifth grade.
Three months later, a full complement of astronaut types from the planet Nil comes to earth, seeking the orb. Appropriately enough, the ship crashes face first at the base of the Statue of Liberty (where generations of alien immigrants entered the country, natch). Said ship then stands up and catches the ferry into New York City.
Did we forget to mention that the residents of planet Nil stand about an inch tall? That what would be muscle functions in a real human are controlled by these little aliens sitting in round plastic servo thingies? Or that Nillians build their spaceships in the image of the ship commander? Or that they are so scientifically and technologically advanced that the mere concept of emotion of almost any kind is completely foreign to them? Well, there you go.
Welcome Eddie Murphy's very strange new comedy Meet Dave to the planet.
Begin with the utter lack of preparedness on the part of the controlling crew. In its first hours on the planet, the "ship" prepares for humanity by mimicing every human motion it can. Trying to get its non-existent groove on, so to speak. Along the way it has its first clash with technology -- the walk/DONT WALK sign found on most Manhattan street corners and is thus introduced to the Morrison family [without spilling the joke] as Dave.
Dave's job: find the orb. Steal the salt. Dave's problem? The crew begin to feel, emote, express, think horny thoughts, y'k act like real humans. Mayhem ensues.
While the script is at times seems wildly uneven - this written after one and only one view - we know better of Murphy, who is working very hard not to do the same ol' shuffle. Meet Dave may be overthought; all we know is that we spent the day screening films about child murderers and average joes in jail and needed levityof any kind. What you get early into the film is rather strange but as the entire piece rolls out, t'ain't such a bad sit.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Meet Dave , he would have paid . . .
dateflick level. (meaning even if you hate it, you're not going to be wasting your time <g>
Had we not been so numbed by emotionally crushing movies seen lately, we might have added an extra four bits. Our audience was laughing enough to warrant it -- even if Cranky was the only one who recognized the Spike Lee parody near film's end. Cranky bust a gut.
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