My Favourite Martian


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

E.T. didn't bring his gum. Otherwise things might have been different. This tentacled, gungy blob from the red planet, in Disney's latest straight-from-TV hybrid, looks like Rupert Murdoch after a mescalin meltdown. Pop a blue chewy into the relevant orifice and it takes the shape of homo sapiens, with retractible antennae.

And so the thing from outer space becomes Uncle Martin (Christopher Lloyd), discovered in beachview scrub, after its craft crash lands, by chummy television news producer, Tim O'Hara (Jeff Daniels), who is having trouble holding down his job and his girl (Elizabeth Hurley).

The star of the show is Zoot, Uncle M's silver spacewear, a walking, dancing, talking one-piece ("Don't be such a wet blanket", "Keep my mother out of it"). Not the Comedy Store, perhaps, but better than average for a kid's flick.

The story (what story?) doesn't matter. This is a special effects bonanza on the lines of The Mask, with Lloyd hamming it outrageously and Daniels blundering about like a walrus in a tea shop. Martian magic is capable of anything, which gives the FX crew licence to show off. What they can't do, however, is teach Hurley to act. As the Bond girl replica in Austin Powers, she was great. Here she tries to be funny and falls flat on her face. It is a performance from an end-of-year school show. Let's hope she kept the day job with Estee Lauder.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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My Favourite Martian packshot
A reporter befriends an alien.
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Director: Donald Petrie

Writer: Sherri Stoner, Deanna Oliver

Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Daniels, Elizabeth Hurley, Daryl Hannah, Wallace Shawn, Christine Ebersole, Michael Lerner, Ray Walston, Shelley Malil, Jeremy Hotz, T.K. Carter

Year: 1999

Runtime: 93 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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