As far as family-friendly alien films go this is no E.T. or even Monsters vs Aliens, but if you're after harmless, colourful, goofy fun to entertain littlies, Luis and the Aliens will do the trick.
It doesn't have the finesse of a Pixar or DreamWorks animation, but the slightly retro approach and colourful palette are accessible to kids and, most importantly, there's nothing nightmare inducing.
For parents, the story will feel familiar – it's a collection of family film cues you've seen before. Luis is a lonely young boy whose mother has died and is neglected by his "crazy scientist" father, who spends his days asleep on the couch and his nights searching for aliens in the sky. It's not long before child services are knocking on the door.
It's about this moment, when a young boy needs some help, that a trio of rather hapless aliens land in search of a massage mat they've seen on a home shopping network. Yes - it is silly and random so best just to go with it...
The aliens are designed to provide plenty of slapstick fun as they work out what a vacuum cleaner does, how to drive a car and what happens when you drink dishwashing liquid. There are a few funny inconsistencies as well – such as the fact they speak English but can't say the word "earth".
There's not a lot to keep adults amused, although there is something sweet about Luis. Perhaps his sense of independence and ability to deal with what life throws at him makes him a protagonist to get behind. Or maybe the alien's crazy human traits (gluttony, nervousness, consumerism) makes him look a great kid by comparison.
Don't expect to be blown away, but there's just enough here to keep young viewers happy.
Callum Maloney, Paul Tylak
Sean McCormack, Wolfgang Lauenstein, Christoph Lauenstein
PG (Violence and scary scenes)
Colourful, crazy fun for the littlies.