MOM AND DAD SAVE THE WORLD
There is rarely anything in Mom and Dad Save the World that approaches the remotely funny. Instead, the film seems to consist of a much in the way of frenetic running around and inane pratfoolery. The sole moment of amusing inspiration that the film produces is one gag where Jeffrey Jones succeeds in eliminating an entire army one by one using a grenade labelled Pick Me Up that obliterates the holder after they do precisely that. Otherwise there is little to distinguish Mom and Dad Save the World. What is sad about this is that a good deal appears to have been lavished on the film in terms of production values. There are some nice effects, particularly shots of the Nelsons car passing the rings of Saturn; some delightful creature effects with the palaces dog and fish headed guards; and some imaginative cartoonish rococo sets. Unfortunately, after opening, Mom and Dad Save the World flopped badly, earning only $2 million in domestic US rentals, despite having a $14 million budget.
Intriguingly, the plot for the film seems to have been modelled on Flash Gordon (1936) or perhaps more so the remake Flash Gordon (1980). The script follows the same basic plot structure, involving a human couple abducted by the megalomaniac emperor of another planet who wants to destroy the Earth and then decides that he must marry the heroine and how the hero must venture through the planets wilderness encountering its various denizens in order to save her. Mom and Dad Save the World could have been construed as a parody of Flash Gordon 1980, if not for the fact that Flash Gordon 1980 itself was intended as a send-up of Flash Gordon 1936.
Director Greg Beeman has previously made the teen hit License to Drive (1986) but almost all of his subsequent work has been in television, most notably as a director and producer on genre tv series like Smallville (2001-11), Heroes (2006-10), Falling Skies (2011 ) and Minority Report (2015 ). Beeman also directed the unsold tv pilot for Aquaman (2006). The writing partnership of Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson had previously written Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure (1989), its sequel Bill and Teds Bogus Journey (1991) and subsequently the Eddie Murphy comedy Imagine That (2009). On his own, Chris Matheson, the son of legendary genre writer Richard Matheson, has written other genre works like A Goofy Movie (1995), Stepsister from the Planet Weird (2000), Rapture-Palooza (2013) and directed/wrote the genre films The Wise Ones (2001) and Evil Alien Conquerors (2003) (another films about very stupid alien invaders). On his own, Ed Solomon has also written Super Mario Bros. (1993), Men in Black (1997), Charlies Angels (2000), What Planet Are You From? (2000) and Now You See Me (2013).
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