22 July 2010 | fandomfatale
Not everyone's movie, but a lot of fun if it's your kind
I'm in my twenties, and I loved this film. If you look at the title and the cover and know for certain you won't like it, then you probably won't. But if you think you might, then I'd recommend giving it a try, because I was a little unsure but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The plot is pretty simple: while vacationing in a large rental house over the Fourth of July holiday, the Pearson family is forced to stop an advance team of four aliens from bringing eternal enslavement and/or instantaneous death to the human race. The alien technology allows them to control the adults (leading to a lot of slapstick comedy, some of which will be funny to adults, but all of which the kids will enjoy), so it's up to our hero Tom (17 years old or thereabouts), his siblings and his cousins to stop them.
I thought the acting was quite decent. Carter Jenkins brings a lot of good energy to Tom, who is very likable and sympathetic. All of the kids do a great job, and the voice talents behind the aliens bring a lot of personality to those characters in only a few scenes. Thomas Haden Church as Tazer really stood out to me and J.K. Simmons is always fantastic.
The messages I came out of it with were 1) family is cool, 2) fishing can be just as fun as video games, and 3) being different is OK, and being smart is OK. Ashley Tisdale's Bethany doesn't start out as a particularly sympathetic character, especially when taken with her sleazy boyfriend, but she soon shows herself to be a good role model, demanding that her boyfriend respect her and her family.
I laughed plenty – even the jokes which were easy or cheap didn't make me groan or roll my eyes.
I would definitely let my kids watch this movie. Not only do I approve of the general morals espoused by the film, but they'll almost certainly enjoy it. And, except for believing Grandma had gotten into the Pinot Grigio, Miss Tisdale bouncing around in a skimpy bikini, and a scene of Bethany and her boyfriend putting lotion on each other including a reference to "second base", the film is totally clean. And even those things are hardly worth mentioning.
It's not supposed to be smart, it's supposed to be fun. And it's targeted towards kids. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone I know, but I know a couple of people who would definitely enjoy it, so don't discount it so quickly based on other reviews if you think it might be your kind of movie.