Having directed, among other comedies, the hugely successful Ghostbusters and the equally successful Ghostbusters II , Ivan Reitman returned to the scary comedy genre with this equally funny take on alien bugs invading.
When trainee fireman Wayne Green (Seann William Scott) witnesses a fireball hit a remote part of the desert, Dr Ira Kane (David Duchonvy), Prof Harry Phineas Block (Orlando Jones) and Dr Allison Reed (Julianne Moore) form a team investigating the phenomenon without needing to let the government in on their little secret.
What they discover is that the projectile contained alien life which continually mutates, dies but is re-generated one step up the evolutionary scale. From single cells, they’re soon facing raptor-like creatures that are beginning to be able to breath the atmosphere and unless they can destroy the ‘mother’ in the core, it’ll be just weeks before humanity is extinct.
Highlights include the foursome chasing a flying monster in a shopping mall, the rectal removal of an alien from Block, hence his desperate cry, ‘There’s ALWAYS time for lubricant’ and the finale which sees Block…um…inserted into the mother alien’s rectum to ensure it’s demise, thanks to a well known anti-dandruff shampoo (don’t ask). The four leads each bring their own brand of comedy – Duchovny deadpan but sly, Jones, with some of the best lines, as the man who wonders if the Nobel Prize is a one off payment or in instalments, Scott as the dumb innocent caught up in events bigger than him and Moore, proving she can do fall-over comedy as well as straight drama. With nods to ET , The X-Files , Jurassic Park and even The Blob , this was never one to trouble the Academy but amid the slew of bad comedies released each year, this stands Head and Shoulders above the rest.
USA | 101 minutes | 2001
Director: Ivan Reitman
Script: Don Jakoby, David Diamond, David Weissman, David J. Negron,
John Cho as Student
David Duchovny as Dr. Ira Kane
Mary Pat Gleason as Customer
Kyle Gass as Officer Drake
Ethan Suplee as Deke
Julianne Moore as Dr. Allison Reed, CDC
Orlando Jones as Prof. Harry Phineas Block
Seann William Scott as Wayne Grey
Ted Levine as General Russell Woodman
Dan Aykroyd as Governor Lewis
Ty Burrell as Colonel Flemming
Andrew Bowen as Road Worker
Sarah Silverman as Denise
Katharine Towne as Nadine
Stephanie Hodge as Jill Mason
Gregory Itzin as Cartwright
Michelle Wolff as Carla
Steven Gilborn as Judge Guilder
Wayne Duvall as Dr. Paulson
Jerry Trainor as Tommy
Jennifer Savidge as Clare
Wendy Braun as Nurse Tate
Michael Chapman as Sheriff Long
Michael Bower as Danny
Chris Wylde as Student