An 11-year-old boy makes friends with three loveable little aliens, who crash their UFO into his house. In return for Luis' help in finding the home-shopping channel stuff they came for, they save Luis from boarding school - and an exciting adventure follows.
Directed by: Christoph Lauenstein
, Wolfgang Lauenstein
, Sean McCormack
. Starring: Callum Maloney
, Dermot Magennis
, Ian Coppinger
, Paul Tylak
, Lucy Carolan
, Eoin Daly
, Aileen Mythen
, Simon Toal
, Danna Davis
, Susie Power
, Eoin McCormick
, Oisin Murray
, Nuria G. Blanco
. Music by: Martin Lingnau
, Ingmar Süberkrüb
Was not sure about seeing 'Luis and the Aliens', due to it looking terrible when it was advertised in cinemas, indicating a competent looking film with a lot of cringe-worthy humour, annoying characters, no charm and with no surprises or excitement to the story. Saw it though as a huge lifelong fan of animation and as someone trying to see as many 2018 films as possible (which has been a worthwhile and interesting if very hit and miss experience).
Just to make things clear for anybody in the future coming to slam anybody for disliking the film, which is unfortunately sadly going to happen, this review is not coming from somebody with the prejudiced intent to dislike the film and trying hard not to when watching. Actually genuinely wanted 'Luis and the Aliens' to be much better than it looked in the trailers, and thought it could do seeing as there have been numerous examples of films with bad or misleading trailers that manage to be between the decent to wonderful distinctions. Am also, despite being a young adult, a child at heart and am on the most part very generous when it comes to reviewing animation, so do feel it's right for me to judge the film as a "family" (not kids, animation is for family not just kids in answer to the overused and abused "it's a kids film" cliché thrown around constantly) film.
On that front, 'Luis and the Aliens' fails. There are definitely far worse animated films out there, at least effort was put into the animation itself and the film didn't insult my intelligence as much. There are also infinitely better animations, which won't be named in order to be fair. Not quite one of the very worst films of the year (though towards the bottom), but of the 2018 animated films it's one of the worst by quite some way to me. Was really hoping it would be much better than the trailers indicated, but sadly it is exactly what was indicated.
'Luis and the Aliens' has a few redeeming values. The best asset is the animation, which was clearly the asset where the most effort was put into. Although the alien designs are generic the colours are bright and bold, there are moments of nice visual touches and the backgrounds are attractive and richly detailed.
Music is also suitably peppy and a few of the voice actors come over credibly, Luis in particular is voiced with a lot of spirit.
However, there are several big drawbacks. Although mostly the animation was fine, the character designs could have done with smoother movement and more care, found some of them stiff and blocky. Most of the voice acting has very little emotion or engagement, either sounding bored or grating on the nerves. The writing is every bit as bad, very stilted and childish and enough to make older audiences feel insulted. Even the most unassuming youngster may very likely feel embarrassed.
Excepting Luis, none of the characters were interesting, entertaining or had likeable traits. The aliens are irritating and the antagonist is as flat, un-threatening and vaguely characterised as one can possibly get. Development for them is not just sketchy, it's practically non-existent. Did not mind that the story was predictable and slight, quite a lot of films have stories that are both yet they still manage to be halfway decent because everything else makes up for it and they are at least still interesting. With most elements here executed badly and that there is practically nothing to the story, it is less forgivable and it feels like an over-extended modest-at-best budget animated show stretched to feature length. The sporadic action is unexciting, while the humour is embarrassingly juvenile, the storytelling is so by-the-numbers and colourless and there is a complete lack of warmth and charm.
Overall, not a complete disaster but not really an alien adventure worth experiencing, other than as an animation fan or a 2018 film completest.
Review by TheLittleSongbird from the Internet Movie Database.