My Favorite Martian (1999)

reviewed by
Joy Wyse

Review:                MY FAVORITE MARTIAN
Starring:        Jeff Daniels, Christopher Lloyd, Daryl Hannah,
                Elizabeth Hurley, Ray Walston
Directed by:        Donald Petrie
Review by:        Joy Wyse, the SILVER Screen Critic

Anyone over the age of thirty remembers the television show, My Favorite Martian which starred Bill Bixby and Ray Walston. This movie is NOT a remake of that series. It takes place today and several changes have been made to our Martian friends. The biggest difference is that our new Martian is not alone. A silvery suit that walks and talks on its own accompanies him. It also has amazing powers.

A television producer/reporter named Tim O'Hara [Jeff Daniels] works with an on-air reporter, Brace Channing [Elizabeth Hurley] whose father is O'Hara's boss. Another co-worker is Lizzie [Daryl Hannah]. One night, while driving back from an assignment O'Hara sees a mysterious object descend from the sky and come to a stop on the beach alongside him. The alien, who later becomes known as Uncle Martin [Christopher Lloyd], has the ability to shrink the spaceship to the size of a toy.

Most of the film is comprised of the ridiculous situations that an alien encounters on earth. The buckle on Suit's belt contains chewing gum balls that allow the chewer to take on the characteristics of a specific planet.

Uncle Martin, who has three eyes, four arms, and such, upon landing, chews the Earth gum. The plot is filled with ‘dirty' kid-type humor, such as the ‘suit' mooning people, talk of US astronauts ‘wetting' in their suits, the purchase of a ‘pooper scooper', etc. There are some attempts at clever writing, but it falls short. For example, the scientist's name is Dr. E. Coli. The Hawaiian Tropics ‘Senior' competition offered humor that never materialized. It is nice to see Ray Walston in ‘familiar' surroundings.

The movie is totally ridiculous, but it's harmless. We took our 9-year-old grandson with us. He loved it, and we enjoyed it. It will never make screen history, but it's worth seeing. I give it a C+.


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