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2001: A Space Travesty

Columbia/Tri-Star // R // March 19, 2002
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Gil Jawetz | posted April 8, 2002 | E-mail the Author

THE STRAIGHT DOPE:

Now, come on. Is Leslie Nielsen really so bored
or broke that he needs to keep churning out
these ridiculous spoofs? Granted, Airplane,
Police Squad, and The Naked Gun are
classics of the fifty-jokes-a-second comedy
style but by the time you get through all the
Spy Hards and Wrongfully Accuseds
you can come out more dizzy than Frank Drebin.
2001: A Space Travesty is, other than
its great title, as lame and unfunny as you
can get.

Nielsen's bumbling marshall Richard
Dix (get it?) is a carbon copy of Drebin and,
indeed, many of the film's jokes are directly
lifted from those earlier films. From the moment
early on when Drebin, I mean Dix, foils a group
of terrorists completely by accident it's clear
that the film is a total rip-off. Once Dix gets to outer space
the
film riffs on every sci-fi film from 2001
(in an extended, stupid, space shuttle commute)
to Total Recall, but without any real hits.

The plot, to rescue the
president who has been replaced with a clone by
evil aliens who learned everything they know
about Earth from TV and movies, is as obvious as
possible. Nielsen, who's in his 70's, mugs like
this schtick is still fresh, and is surrounded
by boring and unoriginal characters. The film's
idea of clever is naming one female character
(played by plastic surgery junkie Ophélie Winter)
Cassandra Menage. Haw-haw.


VIDEO:

The full-screen video is a bit dull. Colors in particular lack life and look muted. The print has a fair amount of dirt on it for such a new film. (Warning: The packaging claims the video is anamorphic, but it's full-screen.)



AUDIO:

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is fine, if not particularly aggressive. English subtitles are available.



EXTRAS:

Trailers are included.




FINAL THOUGHTS:

2001: A Space Travesty is a lazy rip off of Leslie Nielsen's past comedic highs. Fans would be better off just rewatching his original comic masterpieces. While he gives 2001: A Space Travesty his best effort, he's just not supported by the filmmakers, either with a good concept or strong material.

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