Top critical review
Now it Looks more dated than Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
on July 24, 2017
It hasn't aged very well. This pre-9/11, pre-Trump joke about humans playing right into the hands of aliens is supposed to be a dark comedy but now it feels a little too close to Steve Bannon's fantasy of how our current civilization should be destroyed. Again Tim Burton tries to poke fun at the establishment, squares, and everyone who thinks they should run the world. You have greedy Vegas tycoons, New Age pacifists, gun happy trailer trash, and a President worried about appearances. (I don't really see him as a parody of Bill Clinton. I suppose he's an amalgam of Reagan, Bush, and Clinton?) It's still not as dull as Independence Day, but Burton's cartoon sensibilities worked better in Beetlejuice. The Nineties references are just looking more and more dated. The President's final line "Can't we all just get along" is a paraphrase of Rodney King's plea to people after the L.A. riots of 1992 (remember those?). In the end the martians are cruel pranksters who can't be reasoned with and it's just dumb luck that we find a way of making their brains explode. Life goes on...but after seeing most of humanity fall for the gag the movie doesn't make you feel good about it, that's for sure.