Saturday , April 13 2024
Anna Nicole Smith's final picture proves to be everything you'd expect it to be – and less!

Movie Review: Illegal Aliens

Odds are if the low-budget Anna Nicole Smith vehicle Illegal Aliens (MTI Video) had been made two years ago, it would've shot immediately into direct-to-video limbo (much like the 1997 action dud Skyscraper). That the cut-rate sci-fi comedy is being released not long after the actress' death and subsequent news ascendance is an accident of timing: it guarantees that the flick will receive more attention, but whether that proves a good thing for any of the surviving cast's careers is an entirely different matter.

A rickety blend of Charlie's Angels (each of the flick's three heroines are given the name of one of the movie version's actresses) and Men in Black, Aliens follows three intergalactic shape-shifting policewoman (Smith, Gladise Jiminez, and Lenise Sorén) assigned to the planet Earth to thwart intergalactic evildoers. We first meet our trio as their alien bodies fly through space toward our planet; the ANS alien has chosen the body of a pig so she can comically squeal, "I'm a Pig in Space!" (That's the quality of the jokes, folks!) But once they land in a crater in New York City, our heroines all take on the form of shapely babes because, as the narrator helpfully explains, "Really hot chicks have it easy!" The threesome moves to Hollywood where they work as stuntwomen between assignments – until a fourth alien shows up on Earth with plans to demolish the joint.

Though our antagonist alien is a male named Rex, he takes over the body of a New York mobster's broad-shouldered wife (why he commandeers her bod instead of simply shapeshifting into a replicate of it is never explained). Said mobster's spouse is played by Joanie Laurie, the former wrestling diva aka Chyna, and, surprisingly, she's the only one who fares halfway decently in this exercise, at times coming across like a bustier Mary Woronov. (If anybody's considering an Eating Raoul remake…) Accompanied by a pair of sub-Bowery Boys henchmen (Dennis Lemonte and Woody Keppel), one of whom she keeps "comically" shooting, Rex steals the components to cobble together a "megagravitron," which will pull the moon into the Earth when completed.

Our heroines try to stop her, pursued by an ineffectual INS agent (Michael D. Valentine), but, of course, they're continually thwarted until the big eleventh hour showdown. Before that, we get a lot of flatulence jokes and scenes focusing on how just-bone-dumb big blond Lucy is (at one point, cleaning her ear out with a large pink vibrator). There's a bit stolen straight out of the first Naked Gun movie (perhaps an attempt at reminding us of Smith's genuine comic moment in the third Gun flick?) where an off-camera Lucy makes a series of increasingly more deafening bathroom noises while her alien gal pals futilely attempt to carry on a conversation. Frank Drebin did it better.

That noted, I have to fess that there was one moment in Illegal Aliens which made me laugh. It occurs when evil villainess Rex explains her evil scheme to our heroine. As she does, a digital "Super-Villain Monologue Timer" pops up in the corner of the screen to clock her speech; when she reaches record time (1:12), tiny fireworks explode around the timer.

Of course, the big question for ANS followers has nuthin' to do with the quality of the jokes or story and everything to do with "How does our gal look and sound in this turkey?" Well, Miz Smith doesn't speak her lines as much as squeal 'em, but at least she enunciates (which is more than you can say for her old reality series). Her body's in its TrimSpa shape, though the unflattering costumes she wears look like they were swiped off the set of the Jim Carrey Grinch. Through most of the movie the one time supermodel affects a series of goony faces and grimaces that ultimately prove more off-putting than amusing – so much so that when she breaks the action mid-film to suddenly ask, "Who do I have to screw to get off this picture?" and every male member of the cast steps into the frame with their hands raised, I personally didn't believe 'em!

Think I'm gonna work on remembering Hudsucker Proxy or Naked Gun: 33-1/3 if I ever feel the urge to visualize ANS in her plastic glory.

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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