MTI // 2007 // 96 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 1st, 2007
They're here to save the world?
Anna Nicole Smith's final film; how does it match up to classics like Skyscaper and To The Limit?
Some aliens land on Earth and take the form of the first thing they see: a men's magazine. They emerge from the crater as three bosomy model-like girls (Smith, Lenise Sorén, and Gladys Jiminez) wearing tight clothing and go about their business of scouting this new planet and trying to fit in. A little while later another alien arrives, and this one possesses someone who looks like Joanie Laurer, a.k.a. Chyna, a.k.a. Chyna Doll. Turns out this alien, called Rex, has more dastardly schemes afoot, as it attempts to build a gravity machine to suck the moon into the Earth's atmosphere and blow up the planet. So it falls to the "Illegal Aliens" to combat Rex and defuse her idiotic plot, all the while testing the tensile strength of their bra straps.
What's the most sensitive way to put this? Anna Nicole Smith's final film is a zany cap to an eclectic career. Or maybe In her last on-screen role, Anna Nicole Smith brings to a life a character that displays many of the actress' own idiosyncrasies. Perhaps, In a fitting conclusion to varied tenure in show business, the late Anna Nicole Smith partakes in an off-the-wall, scfi, screwball comedy, yuk yuk yuk! Consider those your PC euphemisms, because the hard truth is: Illegal Aliens pretty much sucks.
The good news is that the movie doesn't suck in that malicious, want-to-urinate-on-your-soul kind of way. It's light-hearted and goofy and there are trace amounts of fun lurking within the runtime. The actors, led by Smith, gleefully ham up their roles, though how much glee will be transferred to the viewer is a good question. For me, I'd say there was about an 8% glee impact. Smith wanders through the whole film talking in a high-pitched squeaky voice and playing the trademark "ditz blonde alien," if such a trademark exists, while her two cohorts play it more or less straight. Laurer, on the other hand, is virtually unbearable as the bad guy (girl), screeching, shrieking, and letting fly ear-piercing gobs of dialogue that is neither funny in its conception or delivery. And is it just me, or does she look different, even after her other plastic surgery? At this rate, the poor woman will be about 85% synthetic material by 2009.
What hurts the film the most though aren't the performances -- which are about what you'd expect from a cheese-fest like this -- but the humor. Frankly, the jokes fall hard most of the time. And since I've already used two percentages in this review, I might as well just abandon all hopes of innovative writing and lay a third on you: 90% of the jokes don't work. Occasionally you'll find something that might force a smile on your rigid face, but for most of the film prepare to be bored. Many of the gags are derivative, like a Joanie Laurer monologue that has an "Oscar Clip" overlay splashed on it (hat tip, Wayne's World) or the gimmicky "breaking of the fourth wall," where the actors revert to their "real-life" selves and bitch about the movie production in one final, desperate plea for laughs (any comedy where the writers have run out of ideas).
On a positive note, I will commend the visual effects team. The CGI budget was certainly limited, but the guys at the computers were able to squeeze out some decent graphics, particularly for the big finale with the moon-gravity-suckage. It's a small compliment, sure, but well-earned.
The film gets an uneven full-frame treatment that often times betrays the minimal production quality. Some scenes suffer from softness and the visual effects, while somewhat impressive, come across as grainy in some points. The stereo sound is sufficient. Extras include a lively filmmakers' commentary, a short making-of documentary, and a handful of below-average deleted scenes.
Illegal Aliens is harmless, light-hearted inanity codified, but don't expect to laugh much. The jokes are clunkers and the acting is infantile bordering on grating. Also, if you're looking for some cheap nudity, look elsewhere.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Filmmakers Commentary
* Deleted Scenes
* Making-of Documentary