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My Favorite Martian Review

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Hapless and newly-unemployed TV newsman Tim O'Hara (the ever-genial Daniels) is the sole witness to a UFO crash and finds himself the reluctant minder of a stranded Martian.

★★★★★

What seems like the gazzillionth late 90s movie extracted from a 60s TV show arrives here without the benefit of a US cult fan base to generate nostalgic anticipation. That is just as well, since this vapid sci-fi comedy isn't camp enough to tickle adults or sufficiently exciting to please discriminating children.

Hapless and newly-unemployed TV newsman Tim O'Hara (the ever-genial Daniels) is the sole witness to a UFO crash and finds himself the reluctant minder of a stranded Martian (the ever-loony Lloyd) who he passes off as his Uncle Martin. Tim is soon hard put to restrain his visitor from acting goofy and waggling his retractable antennae, not to mention curbing the ebullience of Martin's talking, animate, independently minded and charmless spacesuit - called Zoot.

The plotted-by-numbers "antics" revolve around efforts to repair Martin's spaceship while foiling a bubble-brained but scoop-hungry TV reporter (Hurley) and evading sinister E.T.-hunting agents led by 80-year-old veteran Ray Walson (TVs original Martin The Martian and a savvy scene-stealer as the Man In Black who favours grey). To add amorous complication, Tim is in a dither between Hurley's hoity-toity nasty girl and Hannah's funky good girl.

In one of Disney's cheaper looking live action features, what expense hasn't been spared has gone on the annoyingly cute suit, miniaturisation of the spacecraft and a dinky chase sequence through a sewer that could be out-takes from Inner Space.

Name-ists will understand that nothing good can come from a screenplay written by people called Sherri and Deanna, but you'll be left scratching your head over his space-time anomaly: how come Martin is all at sea with human culture while Zoot knows who The Spice Girls are?

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