Starring Jimi Jackson, Thomas Sainsbury, JoJo Waaka
Directed by Shae Sterling
Riko (Jimi Jackson) lives in a small New Zealand town in the middle of nowhere. Life was pretty normal until two aliens crash landed near his house. He welcomes the ETs and together they develop an intergalactic relationship of epic proportions.
Meanwhile, Peter Mackintosh (Thomas Sainsbury) has tracked the aliens and Riko, and plans to capture them and reveal them to the world.
I really wanted to like this stoner comedy, and there’s a lot going for it. A glorious score, some stunning locations, excellent camera work, and some cool looking aliens.
The trouble is the cast are just okay, the script is pretty average and nearly all of the gags fall flat.
There are some gross out jokes that probably sound like they were penned by a 10 year old, and a few sight gags that feel tired.
Because Peter Jackson and Taika Waititi have done such a stunning job of making their unique mark on the New Zealand film industry, a knockabout farce like this was always going to seem pretty inferior compared to offerings like Bad Taste or Eagle vs Shark.
It also falls way short of similar comedy Paul from a few years ago.
So while it has plenty of energy and the tech crew clearly know how to get the most from a limited budget, the script needed a lot more work. Not that it should have been over written, as irreverence and ad-libbing can be comedy gold, but it needed that little something extra.
Shae Sterling has a great movie in him, but sadly this isn’t it.