4.1/10 (6,025 votes)
A crew of miniature aliens operate a
spaceship that has a human form.
While trying to save their planet, the aliens
encounter a new problem, as their ship
Truth is, I’ve always been a sucker for sci-fi comedies. From Weird Science through Men in Black all the day down to Evolution, I like my science fiction bagged with a nice big grin and an ironic wink. This is especially the case with big blockbuster seasons, when most of the studios take their movies ever so seriously, diving into the psychological depths of rejected superheroes (Hancock) or preaching against violence through supposed fantasy flicks for kids (Prince Caspian).
Amongst all those harsh and poker faced action movies, something’s gotta give. Cue Eddie Murphy’s endless range of facial expressions and a nice refreshing plot about a giant spaceship in the shape of… well, Eddie Murphy; and you’ve got yourself a feel-good movie to cool out your warm summer days and supply harmless fun for all the family, along with some good old eye-candy.
In Meet Dave, veteran comedian Murphy plays a double-role as he does in most of his films; only this time – thank goodness – we don’t get to see him in a fat suit. The audience meets him first as a huge man-shaped spaceship that crashes into Earth, in search of a long lost device that might save the planet Nill, a faraway world that inhabits extremely small earthlings. Inside Starship Murphy there’s a whole crew of Nilleans, led by their captain (portrayed by – surprise surprise – Eddie Murphy) and several main officers, the most prominent of which is a compassionate cultural officer, referred to only as No.3 (portrayed by Gabrielle Union from Bad Boys II and Daddy’s Little Girl). The whole crew of this Star Trek-ie spaceship must navigate the vessel throughout the hazardous streets of New York while searching for the device. Numerous comic situations ensue, as the gang tries to adopt human characteristics to their ship, which finds it quite difficult to smile; speak in a normal tone (at first it’s so high pitched, I laughed myself silly for well over a minute); or shake hands properly.
The plot moves quickly and has an interesting anthropological approach towards humanity as seen from the eyes of the aliens living inside the Starship Dave, while each of the crew members in turn also adopt human emotions. The core of the movie evolves, however, through Dave’s encounters with local widower Gina Morrison and her son, Josh, who evoke the human core within the Captain and his crew. However, the action only starts here, as there are countless dangers that face this odd relationship – both from the world outside as well as from inside the spaceship.
All in all, I found Meet Dave (formerly known as Starship Dave) to be a nice and refreshing summer matinée (I had the pleasure of watching a sneak preview of the film on July 6th in Ramat Gan, Israel). After suffering through Murphy’s crude humor and rather tasteless jokes in the awful Norbit, Meet Dave – with it’s inoffensive humor, clever premise and universal values – redeemed Murphy in my eyes. So yeah, it does borrow freely from films such as Honey I Shrunk the Kids and television series such as Herman’s Head – but in a world full of rehashed ideas and themes used over and over again, it still earns points for originality in my book.
Surprisingly, this was a nice little cinematic treat that actually made me smile and feel good about myself! I gave it a strong 9 out of 10.
becomes smitten with an Earth woman.