Most helpful critical review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
If Aliens Hunting Squirrels And Talking To Garbage Cans Is Something You'd Like, This Movie's For You
on August 17, 2010
"Morons From Outer Space" is a great concept for a parody. Four daft aliens crash their "Podule" on Earth due to their own incompetence. Earthlings are prepared to accept their hyperintelligence as a given, but they are collectively as dumb as a box of hair. Most of the comedy is very broad with occasionally amusing bits of satire thrown in (particularly related to the Cold War.) For instance, when the alcohol-guzzling space loons crash their ship in England, they do so on the M1 motorway, causing a substantial traffic snarl. What is the punch line to the scene? After being nearly run down by the Podule, one motorist says to another "I think he was Belgian." Hilarious, no?
The aliens are split into a group of three, Julian Tope (Paul Bown,) Sandra Brock (Joanne Pearce,) and Desmond Brock (Jimmy Nail) who are staggeringly imbecilic. The humor associated them was so sub-Benny Hill I could almost not take it (don't miss the hilarity of the exploding cooker scene.) The remaining moron in question, Bernard (Mel Smith,) is actually only slightly mentally-deficient, but spends the bulk of the film in a mental hospital (not funny,) talking to garbage cans (somewhat funny the first couple of times, not so funny thereafter,) and trying to get his former friends to acknowledge him (oh, the pathos.) Obviously there's a lesson in there about the meaning of true friendship, but it's pointless in a farce of this nature. Throughout this movie I couldn't think of Mel Smith as anything other than an actor trying to do his best John Candy impression in a film that would have actually been suitable to Candy's choice of roles. I think Smith and Griff Rhys Jones who plays Graham Sweetley can be quite talented writers and performers (much better than John Candy,) but their efforts here come up way short.
There were a few touches in the writing that were quirky and funny (e.g. "When you're in the tub and a man-eating spider crawls out of the faucet, you don't ask him to pass you the soap.") There were even a few funny satirical concepts, as when Bernard defeated the asylum employees who tormented him with an "Iron Maiden" album by wearing earplugs. Sadly though, for each amusing moment there are a hundredfold more like the execrable worst ping pong lesson ever.
There are a few nuggets of humor in here, but while I love British cinema and television, and I love satire and comedies, this is less playful than it is painful.