I saw this film and noticed two things that put me straight off of it. Ant and Dec. I can’t stand the blokes. It might just be me, but they can get really annoying, extraordinarily quickly.
So, naturally, I spent about 5 years using every excuse I could to avoid watching the film. I gave up last night, witting there with my Carlsberg and my dad, watching a film I was sure was doomed to be crud.
I was wrong. Although they feature heavily in the film, Ant and Dec both play likeable, if rather simple, characters. Along with a few other big names (Omid Djalili, Jimmy Carr), they form a brilliant cast of idiots. But clever idiots at that.
The film is based around the idea of con-artist Ray Santilli, and his friend, Gary Schofield, who travelled to America to acquire cheap Elvis memorabilia, before selling it at exuberant prices in the UK. One of the sellers decided to offer Ray some alien autopsy footage he had filmed in 1947, shortly after the Roswell UFO Incident, for a cost of $30,000. Ray wanted the footage, so got an investor to pay for the film, before he accidentally damaged it to seemingly beyond repair. In order to prevent the investor from trying to kill them, they re-made the footage in a friend’s apartment, passing it off as the original. They then decided to try to sell the footage to local video merchants, to make some quick money. Soon, the whole world knew about the footage and wanted to watch it, helping Ray and Gary to acquire a large sum of money for selling it to various news networks across the globe. Their hoax is threatened multiple times, when the investor attempts to stop all broadcasts of the footage, and when everyone wants to watch the original. These incidents, however, are soon overcome and the pair continue to live with their money. They then receive the 1947 footage from the team they asked to try to repair it. They watch the footage, showing an alien body being moved about by some American Military Personnel, before deciding to bury the film, saying that they “can’t go through with it all over again”.
Despite being based on real events, the film is actually quite good. The way the film jumps from the modern-day Ray and Gary telling a documentary maker about their story and then us watching the events they are discussing, works brilliantly as do the small moments where the ‘flashback’ is interrupted by a small discussion about how something was, or in one case, why Gary wasn’t at a particular place. (He was ‘punch-drunk’).
The film also has a great soundtrack, with lots of memorable songs (such as ‘Alright’ by Supergrass, ‘I’m a Believer’ by The Monkees and ‘Dizzy’ by Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff).
Overall, an amazingly good film, with a multitude of highlights. I would highly recommend this film, even if you can’t stand the main characters. Give it a go. Make it that film that you thought you’d risk because you we’re bored. Just make sure you watch it.