Based on the true story of Ray Santilli and his footage of the 1947 Roswell alien autopsy, this film will surely be a huge hit for Roswell UFO conspiracists as well as Ant and Dec fanatics. However, non-UFO or Geordie lovers will enjoy it too.
The film’s popularity in the UK was based on its lead actors, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. Critics wondered whether audiences would be able to see the actors as Gary and Ray, rather than their cheeky TV personality selves. Skepticism was also given to whether Ant and Dec had lost their punitive talent for acting, having not played characters other than themselves since the early nineties on a BBC children’s drama.
Thankfully, the criticism was proven to be unfounded as Ant and Dec performed spectacularly and believably in their first feature film. Their real life friendship and two decades of working side by side provided the required chemistry between the lead characters, who are best friends in real life.
American audiences unfamiliar with Ant and Dec will not have to worry about conflating their perception of Gary and Ray with knowledge of the actors and will simply be able to enjoy a well-done movie about Ray Santilli and the Roswell UFO footage.
A keen viewer will notice plot holes here and there (most of which are filled in by viewing the deleted scenes… not that that excuses them), but the breaks in plot are not enough to break the tone of the film, which is an oddly suspenseful and frothy ride.
The lighting, coloring and cinematography is reminiscent of Edgar Wright‘s films as is the dry humor and classic British wit. American audiences will feel at home with the California settings and actors such as Bill Pullman and Harry Dean Stanton.
IGN.Com lists extra features including outtakes, deleted scenes, an alternate opening scene and commentary with the director, Johnny Campbell, making the purchase well worth it. Not to mention that it will not be released in cinemas in the US (having premiered on the silver screen in Britain and Ireland five years ago) and will most likely be difficult to find for rental at video stores.
It’s not the best movie in the world, but it is certainly a well-executed and entertaining re-telling of an enigmatic slice of United States history.
About Alien Autopsy (2006)
Starring: Bill Pullman, Martin McDougall, Bradley Lavelle, Sam Douglas, Paul Birchard, Shane Rimmer, Harry Dean Stanton, Jeff Harding, John Shrapnel, Ian Porter, Orson Bean, Chris Wilson, Omid Djalili, David Threlfall, Peter Rnic, Joseph Balderrama, Kevin Breznahan, John Warman, Lee Oakes, Götz Otto, Ray Santilli, John Cater, Gary Shoefield, Perry Benson, Julia Bridgeman, Jimmy Carr, Winston Thomas, Sophia Ellis, Michael Rouse, Luke Brandon Field
Director: Jonny Campbell
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