By Brent Davidson
26th August 2018

Not only do I love children’s films, but usually I am one to cry at almost every emotional moment - especially when I’m tired and having a bit of a week of it. So why didn’t 'Luis and the Aliens' have the same impact on me (especially because the criteria was right for a classic Brent sob fest)?

Luis is a bullied 12-year-old boy, living in the most rundown house on a street of pristine houses. He rides the most rundown bike and has the most worn clothes. His whole world is out to get him, and his father is not much help - with his head in the clouds, he’s a ufologist, sleeping in the day and star-gazing at night - but always neglecting his son. With no friends, no family and no hope, everything changes when aliens land in his backyard.


Does this plot sound familiar to you? Do these tropes sound decidedly too cliché? They did for me too. The underdog who finds the fantastical friends and goes on adventure. It takes a lot for this type of film to be lifted out of its genre, and sadly 'Luis and the Aliens' doesn’t quite get out of this world, barely off the ground.

For a 3D animation, the whole thing is surprisingly flat.

I think the thing that the filmmakers didn’t understand is that children are smart. They understand plot, jokes and tired clichés, and can see through things more easily than we give them credit for. Once the novelty of the cute and trying-to-be-charming aliens wears off, there is very little for these viewers who the film is intended. There is a reason for the success of ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Coco’, and that's because not for one moment did they misjudge the aptitude of their audience.

For a 3D animation, the whole thing is surprisingly flat.

I find myself as SWITCH’s big kid, but sadly I was left wanting more than just a squishy alien toy and a feeling that I’d wasted an hour a half.

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