It turns out the Roswell Incident was in fact an alien being, with a rather addictive personality, stopping by to warn us all of our impending doom. It seems that Earth will be passing through a rather dense asteroid field similar to one that swept over during the late Cretaceous period. Seen as how we all know how well that turned out the American government quickly sets up a new programme where the sharpest shooters and sharpest minds will get together and stand guard over the planet. This elite group are known as the Rock Jocks.
Unfortunately it is now approximately forty years later and the programme isn’t doing too well.
You see the technology is out of date, the budget has been cut further and further back pretty much every year since they started and we have gone from the best of the best to gamers, ice queens and drunks. Now though the government is looking to automate the whole thing and the Jocks themselves are starting to clash. This is where we begin with our average male protagonist leaning out of bed, past the alarm clock telling him he should still be asleep, to answer the phone. You see it seems he will have to come in on his day off despite plans at twelve and so with the assurance that someone will be there by then to take over he gets dressed and heads in.
Those who have read some of my usual reviews will know that at this point I would usually link to a youtube clip of the Clerks opening but to be honest even I think this one is to obvious. This feeling plays throughout the movie as the crew sit around waiting for work all the while discussing their lives, talking sh*t and attempting to make us laugh. Unfortunately unlike Clerks there is a distinct lack of the wit and charm you felt to directionless slackers Dante and Randel. Maybe because we have all been in some dead end low paying job like theirs whilst I have never been an adult on a government salary paid to shoot asteroids. This isn’t helped by their constant wandering off, drinking on the job and general office bickering. Not-Dante is about the only one I could see myself meeting up with after work for a few drinks while the rest seem about as pleasant to sit through as a Tunguska event. Oh sure they try and play up the stress and pressure of saving the world but noting the lack of wit and charm and the way they grab the arcade like controls of satellites I found I just didn’t care.
Now on the positive the movie keeps up with wild and nerdy references like the Dante style protagonist such as labelling their no-win scenario “the Kobayashi Maru” or the computer about to take over bearing the title Skynet. Sometimes they call these references out and other times they just leave them, either way they fit in nice enough that they don’t ‘Family Guy’ you around the head, but they typically end up being the best bits of the movie and that’s not really a compliment.
The cast expands out beyond Dante to include Nerd Queen Felicia Day playing a humourless ice queen bucking for the top job, an alcholoic, a young Asian with daddy issues and a dude bro gamer. These are rounded by the alien who crashed in Roswell now addicted to cigarettes and building Rube Goldberg Machines that serve no purpose but to apparently pad out the movie with pointless cuts. Oh and Jay and the Doctor are playing the complex’s security team who spend I believe the whole movie in their booth drinking tea and answering facebook questionnaires. They also seem to only be there to pad out the movie.
In the end I only could stand about half this cast, Dante because he generates some empathy due to having the best writing and generally being the most relatable out of the whole bunch, Felicia Day due to having something approaching a character arc and the two security guards because they remind you of watching better stuff. In truth I think Felicia may also fall into this category but I’ll give the movie the benefit of the doubt.
The humour falls down toward the bottom end of the spectrum, by which I mean farts, swears and drug abuse but even if this is your usual bag I don’t think there’s going to be much here for you with everything washing over you in a wave of meh. The plot is fairly predictable and though you have probably already figured it out just from reading this review I will stick up a spoiler warning just in case.
From the moment you hear that they are going to replace the crew with a robot that has so far proven be able to solve every problem they’ve faced thus far you know something is going to come along that turns the table and shows the point of having such a flawed human crew. Heck you can probably guess this even before then if you can be bothered to put that much thought and effort into the movie. Though it does lead to one nit-pick I did have with the film. Sticking to the nerdy references the asteroidS they face are graded into a Lord of the Rings style category system with the smallest being labelled Gollums and the largest a Sauron. This means that throughout they will talk about shooting down Orcs and what not making it sound slightly more interesting as you picture some kind of Waaargh descending on present day Earth. However for some reason on their grading system they have placed Trolls as a higher threat than Balrogs. This is a silly little point but I figured that seen as how this was bothering me so much then it meant I wasn’t too involved with the movie to begin within.
There are a few good lines in the movie but I can only recall two at best and even then I didn’t so much laugh as chuckle inwardly to them. If it’s on and you have nothing better to then maybe give it a shot. Otherwise don’t bother and defiantly don’t bother buying it for twelve fifty one on Amazon.