2001: A Space Travesty

2001: A Space Travesty. Cinevent/Helkon Media AG 2000.

Before watching the movie:

When I read the blurb, I realized I’d let the title trick me into thinking of it as a direct parody of “Space Odyssey”, which is a reasonable assumption but unusually late. It appears that it’s more a genre parody that got stuck with the title because everything got titles with “2000” in the late 90s.

I’m hoping this is more “enjoyably passable” like Spy Hard than “barely tolerable” like the Scary Movie series.

After watching the movie:

U.S. Marshall Dick Dix is a clone of Frank Drebin. On intelligence from Cassandra Menage that aliens have kidnapped the U.S. President and replaced him with a clone that will answer to alien orders (and have plans for other world leaders, but who cares about them?), Dix is sent to the secret moonbase Vegan, the closest aliens are allowed to come to Earth, to rescue the president. A broad range of meandering comedy ensues.

While a few scenes parody (or at least evoke) “Odyssey”, if this movie is parodying anything specific, it’s Men in Black, and only barely. Half the movie takes place on the moon and half at a concert in Paris.The jokes flow freely on the moon, but exactly one event that’s important to the plot happens, and all the rest of the development is in the much duller generic opera house setting. But hey, the female lead you never heard of gets to sing over a good portion of a scene that looks more important than it is, so that’s entertainment, right?

Leslie Nielsen needs no comment. He’s doing what he’s done since Airplane!. The supporting cast is a bunch of J-List actors and impersonators doing the best they can, except apparently the annoying Italian guy is somebody famous in Europe, since the actor is credited as simply “Pierre”. Ophelie Winter‘s lips  is apparently somewhat famous anywhere but here as well, since the credits seem to indicate she’s a recording artist.

Unlike many angry reviewers, I found most of the humor funny. It may be even more pointless than in a better-written film, but it distracts you from that by being silly. Some may argue that it’s an inferior ripoff of The Naked Gun, but if you heard “Leslie Nielsen in a sci-fi spoof”, wouldn’t you think “The Naked Gun in Space”? It seems to be an unpopular opinion, but I think this movie at its worst isn’t as bad as Spy Hard‘s worst. People also complain about the crude humor, but when they do, they usually compare it to Airplane!, which we might forget has drug abuse, nudity, and sexual humor. The former two are absent from this film. It’s a very soft R. Might have gotten a PG-13 if it was made by Hollywood, and I’m surprised it even has a rating since it only came to America direct to DVD a year and a half later (It was a Canadian/German co-production).

Watch this movie: as Frank Drebin: Man In Black! How amusing!

Don’t watch this movie: for comic innovation or flawless writing.

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One thought on “2001: A Space Travesty

  1. Valerie Wood July 27, 2012 / 10:00 pm

    and you didn’t mention the outrageous credits. . . .

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