Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and John Shea
What's it about
This entry in the After Dark collection has a group of reporters going deep inside Area 51 where they get more than they bargained for.
Is it good movie?
So as soon “Syfy Presents” popped up during the opening credits for 51, I had certain expectations. I expected the acting to be shitty. I expected the effects to be amateurish. I expected a lackluster story. And you know what, 51 lived up to those expectations. I understand there’s a market for poorly made, generic flicks, but I’ve never understood the love for SyFy movies. They’re unwatchable. Without creatively.
Here, 51 steals from a number of movies, namely The Thing, Aliens, and District 9. Which that’s fine and all, but if you’re going to rip off some of the biggest movies in science fiction, at least find a way to be creative or unique. But it doesn’t. Directed by Jason "Son of Sean" Connery, some of the scenes completely rip off Alien and Thing that someone should think about a lawsuit.
Oh, I suppose I should explain a bit of the plot. Since the government always listens to its citizens, they’ve bowed down to public pressure and opened Area 51 to the public. Along with the usual military brash, there’s also some reporters who get to meet some of the special guests of the fine facility, which are some bad aliens (cheap knock-offs of The Thing and Alien) and a good alien (I don’t know, he sort of looks like Yoda if he co-starred on Alien Nation from back in the day). From here you can guess the action as the aliens get loose and people start to die.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
Behind the Scenes: A nine-minute feature with interviews of the cast and crew. Sometimes I feel bad for the actors when they’re interviewed as they really try to sell their character’s worth and why its such a great role.
51 does do some things right. It has decent action scenes, several quarts of the red stuff, and some characters who seem mildly interesting, but that’s really it. Everything is stand issue, right down to the movie government uniforms.