by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Eddie Murphy as DAVE MING CHANG
Elizabeth Banks as GINA MORRISON
Gabrielle Union as NUMBER 3
Ed Helms as NUMBER 2
Scott Caan as DOOLEY
Kevin Hart as NUMBER 17
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Greg McLean
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I had a really interesting journey with “Meet Dave.” Before the film came out in theaters, all signs were pointing to it being a huge stinker. And the predictions were correct. Not only did critics (including myself) pan this movie from start to finish, but audiences stayed away in droves.
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To make matters worse for me, I had to drive almost two hours out of my way to see the film because it wasn’t being pre-screened in my local market. Like the summer’s earlier film “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” I had to lose four hours of driving time and probably $50 in gas just to see it. The problem was that unlike “Prince Caspian,” which I thoroughly enjoyed, “Meet Dave” was a blight on the summer.
Even worse, at the screening, people were talking behind me and kids were running around. It was one of the worst audiences I had seen a film with all year.
Yet, sitting next to me was my seven year old son that I allowed to tag along for the ride. And while I hated the film, he loved it. He loved it so much that he has declared this to be one of his favorite films of the summer.
I had a hard time dealing with this, considering some of the best movies of the year (e.g., “WALL-E” and “The Dark Knight”) also came out this summer. In my opinion, “Meet Dave” couldn’t hold a candle to them. But this has forced me to look at the movie a little differently, and I’ve given it a bit of a second chance on home video... taking it as a kid’s movie. (After all, what speaks more to a seven year old than poop and fart jokes?)
That’s not to say that “Meet Dave” is a great movie. Heck, it’s not even a good movie. However, revisiting it on home video, I have to say that I understand it better.
Of course, I’m not saying this like some pretentious film critic who insists that anyone who doesn’t like a film just doesn’t have the intellectual capability to understand the film. I’ve been down that road with “Southland Tales.” A friend of mine insisted that I would like the movie if I had read the original comics and understood what the director was doing.
Bollocks, I say. “Southland Tales” was a terrible film, no matter how much pre-knowledge you have or how much research you do.
And “Meet Dave” is likewise a lousy film. However, if you approach it with the mind of a seven year old, you’ll at least see what they were trying to do. It’s still irritating to adults, but taken as a kid’s film, I can see where my son enjoyed the movie.
The movie follows a ship of tiny aliens that are trying to steal the Earth’s water supply. They come to our planet in a human-sized spaceship that looks like a human. This giant robot/spaceship interacts with various people in Manhattan, and the captain of the ship (who also looks like the spaceship) has a change of heart after befriending a boy.
For adults, the jokes are unfunny and the plot is ridiculous. But then again, there’s a scene where Dave Ming Chang (the name the spaceship gives himself) poops coins out of his butt. If that’s funny to you, you’ll like this film.
The DVD comes with almost no special features, so there’s not much appeal there for adults. There’s one feature that interviews the crew of the spaceship in character, which again will probably appeal to kids more than adults. So if you want to give the film a try on DVD, do it for the children.