Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Right off the bat allow me to tell you that I thought Eddie Murphy’s new movie ‘Meet Dave’ was surprisingly entertaining as all fears of ‘The Return of Pluto Nash’ were quickly dashed probably within the films first five minutes. However at this particular screening I chose to take my twelve-year-old son Aaron and his best friend Armani to the movie, and these two young cats REALLY thought the movie was funny. I mean they were laughing so hard and falling over each other so tough that I was beginning to think that they were stoned. I had to rustle through the boys dresser drawers when we got home to make sure he wasn't hiding a stash somewhere. Though ‘Meet Dave’ doesn’t quite make up for ‘Norbit’ it’s still has its charms and is some nicely done, reasonable family friendly entertainment.

Our little movie opens in a rather low budgeted looking outer space – ‘Meet Dave’ has some of the worst looking special effects that you’re going to see in reasonably large budgeted Hollywood movie – and in this cheap looking outer space a meteor is sailing through the air, hits a satellite which alters its course and subsequently breaks a window and lands in the fish tank of the bedroom of ten year old Josh Morrison (Austyn Myers). Josh’s mom Gina (Elizabeth Banks) is all concerned about her little boy thinking it was a wayward baseball that broke that window, but now Josh in the possession of a rather dangerous piece of alien technology.

A few months later a space ship that looks exactly like Eddie Murphy wearing a white suit crashes on New York’s Liberty Island. This humanoid figure is a little awkward as it attempts to get its bearings, but before this happens it accidentally walks across busy New York street and gets struck by a car that in an amazing ‘only in the movies’ coincidence was being driven by Josh’s mom Gina. What Gina doesn’t know is that inside the man she just hit is a rather large crew of miniature aliens from the planet Neilen being piloted by The Captain (Murphy) and staffed with his stoic crew on non-

individuals whose names are only numbers. The Alien mission is to retrieve the lost orb from some months back that was intended to land in the Atlantic Ocean, drain it dry and extract the salt from it so their planet can survive. The challenge for our crew of aliens who have taken the name of Dave Ming Ching for their ship, is to befriend these humans, convince them that their ship is a normal person, retrieve the orb and toss it in the ocean which will obviously have some rather serious ramifications for this particular planet. Of course as Dave gets to know Gina, Josh and the world that they have just landed on they realize that these somewhat primitive giants with their feel good drinks, sentimental movies and cheerful music aren’t nearly as bad as they were lead to believe and destroying them doesn’t seem so cool anymore. But the rather uptight No. 2 (Ed Helms) is convinced that the Captain is losing sight of the mission leading us to smell a mutiny, while the overly sentimental information officer No. 3 (Gabrielle Union) is torn between her strong feelings for the captain and the future of their home world. Will the earth be destroyed in this PG family oriented movie?

The type of person who walks into ‘Meet Dave’ expecting some high concept, sophisticated, deep thinking theoretical comic experience probably walks into Burger King expecting nutrition or walks into Taco Bell expecting Mexican food. No my friends, meet Dave is funny in a way that makes twelve year old boys spit out their pop and fall over each other. It’s not that ‘Meet Dave’ doesn’t have the occasional clever humor bit here and there, and some of the cultural references such as The Bee Gees and ‘Fantasy Island’ are going to be completely lost on anybody under thirty, but the majority of the humor in this movie is coconut on the head type stuff, sight gags and potty humor. ‘Family Friendly Eddie’ – the very same comedian who when I was teenager did a whole profanity laced standup routine about the bulge in his pants - is pretty darned funny as Dave the robot space ship and does some great physical comedy with his awkward movements and silly facial expressions. The rest of the cast, and the majority of the relatively weak, overly sentimental narrative for that matter, including the lovely Elizabeth Banks and the even more loverly Gabrielle Union were simply around in service to Eddie Murphy doing his thing, which worked pretty well.

Of course we could ask ourselves that perhaps these Aliens should have perfected how to use this ship before even leaving their home world. We could ask the aliens if they need salt, it probably would be in the best interest of both planets to just go to the gas station and grab a few bags of rock salt instead of sucking down the Atlantic Ocean. We got salt like everywhere people, no reason to destroy Nemo and them when I’m sure Morton’s would pony up as much as you need. There are other elements of inane silliness sprinkled throughout ‘Meet Dave’ but why bother.

I don’t how successful this movie will be because the marketing and synopsis make it sound stupid as hell, and it is kind of stupid but nonetheless it is still pretty darned funny and if you happen to have a twelve year old boy in your possession, and working on the assumption that your twelve year old isn’t baked, I think he’ll love you forever if you take him to see ‘Meet Dave’.

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