Alien Autopsy (12A)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner05/04/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

This is never less than watchable, but it can’t decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama and ends up failing as both.

What’s it all about?
Supposedly based on a true story, Alien Autopsy stars Declan Donnelly and Ant McPartlin (TV’s Ant and Dec) as best friends Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield, who come into possession of a roll of film that appears to show a genuine alien autopsy. However, when the film is destroyed, Ray and Gary decide to fake the footage themselves, with a little help from their friends and the local kebab shop owner (Omid Djalili).

When their new autopsy film goes public, the pair become a media sensation and find themselves targeted by an investigative journalist (Nicole Hiltz), the US military and the vicious, UFO-obsessed gangster (Gotz Otto) who lent them the money for the original footage.

The Good
Ant and Dec turn in surprisingly decent performances (it’s easy to forget that they started out as child actors on Byker Grove) and their friendship translates well to the big screen (Dec is essentially Morecombe to Ant’s Wise). There are several funny moments (particularly during the autopsy sequences) and there’s strong, if underused comic support from Omid Djalili and Morwenna Banks.

In addition, there are welcome appearances from Bill Pullman (as a present-day documentary-making bigshot who agrees to tell their story) and the always excellent Harry Dean Stanton, as the ex-military cameraman who sells Ray the original footage.

The Bad
The film’s biggest problem is that it can’t decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama, with the result that it ends up failing as both – the comedy aspects damage the credibility of the supposedly true story, while the limits of the truth prevent the film from going off on a comedy tangent.

Worth seeing?
In short, Alien Autopsy has its fair share of problems but it’s worth seeing for Ant and Dec’s likeable performances.

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Alien Autopsy (12A)
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Content updated: 21/11/2017 10:12

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