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Alien Autopsy

Film Three Stars

Let's face it Alien Autopsy is really a vehicle to push Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, otherwise known as Ant & Dec on British television, into the light of Hollywood. The question there is have they managed to pull it off?

Then, more importantly to us right now, is their screen debut actually a good film?

AlienAutopsy.jpgBefore I head into the review, I'd just like to thank Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal Vue Cinema for helping me review these movies. It's a great cinema, and provide one of the best movie experiences in Edinburgh, and I'm not just saying that!

I went to this film just to see what these guys were going to be doing. Not because I really wanted to see the film, or that I thought it was going to be something great, I just wanted to see what Ant & Dec were going to be doing on this big screen, and I got quite a few surprises. Let me summarise.

First, they are good. Secondly it's a good film. Thirdly it's funny, and they manage to bring that wholesome humour and banter to the screen that they are so famous for. Yet it's not all good.

The humour is light, there are some moments where I laughed out loud, but there are mostly sniggers and internal comic moments when you probably smiled or smirked but because the cinema was so dark no one really saw you. What is great though is that the comedy is all wholesome, family comedy and has a feel of traditional British film comedy to it.

In fact it's fair to say that the whole film has that older British film feel to it but manages to update it very successfully and merge with modern mainstream films. It's also very important to point out that it's not all comedy either, throughout there are some stronger dramatic moments, and it's here that we really do see this pair light up the screen a little.

From the beginning of the film you can see that the characters are Ant & Dec and they are relying on the banter and dynamic between the two. Indeed the first moment you see Ant appear he stands there looking at the screen with his cheeky looking face just smiling at the screen. You expect the audience to applaud or cheer at that moment in recognition, it's that noticeable.

However this dynamic changes quite quickly, and it's when the relationship introduces a little bit of tension and conflict that you start to see the rise in dramatic scenes and the increase in their characters onscreen rather than their television personalities, and I think that is what is so great about this film for them. They have managed to make the audience forget that their Ant & Dec and move themselves forward to being considered as actors in their own right.

Sure, this isn't a big budget Hollywood feature and it's not going to break any box office records, but I'm sure that there will be Execs and Agents perking up half way through this film as they realise that these guys actually do have talent and aren't resting on their British Saturday evening audiences.

For me these dramatic moments seem to work better than much of the comic ones. Not only for seeing the characters in the film rather than the pair behind them, but also because they work so well and in comparison many of the comic moments of the film just seem to cruise rather than erupt. I do feel that if the comedy had been toned down and the dramatic element played a bit more this could be an even better film, but perhaps that's for their next outing.

Overall the story was well done, with a strong and very interesting ending. Here's a little pointer for you, stay for the credits, it's all worthwhile and adds a little more to the film.

The cameos were superb, Bill Pullman, Harry Dean Stanton added a great deal of weight to the film, and both provided some extremely good comic moments. Omid Djalili (the man you always recognise but never know) deserves a mention too for some of his funny moments.

So it was funny, although not hilarious, it had some stronger dramatic moments, good cameos, and interesting characters, and it proved a good vehicle for Ant & Dec to progress themselves towards acting. All in all if you're looking for a light, fun film, then go and see it. You won't be disappointed if you don't go there expecting too much.

What is interesting is how much you end up wondering what was real and what wasn't. I won't spoil the ending for you, but again I have to say, stay for the credits. All of them.


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