Earthbound was written and directed by Alan Brennan on a small budget with some dodgy continuity and a geeky script. With an intro like this you would expect me to slam this movie. Wait for it.
Joe Norman’s (Rafe Spall) father dies when he is only eleven years old leaving him with the secret that he and Joe are in fact aliens hiding out on earth awaiting their destiny. Joe grows up shunning society so he doesn’t stand out and works in a Dublin comic book shop. His nerdish cover is flawless until a geeky girl Maria (Jenn Murry) walks into his life and reality hits Joe hard as he begins to uncover the truth about his father and his past.
This is a lesson in character based film-making, if they are believable enough you can forgive some technical oversights. Rafe Spall (last seen as the handsome author in The Life Of Pi) deos an incredible job at morphing himself into the wonderful geeky Joe whose belief in his father’s stories are so strong that we want them to be true.
Maybe we could have had a little more convincing that Jenn Murray (perhaps a slightly too attractive for a geek) falls for Joe but that is easily forgiven as the story skips a few phases of the relationship to get to the meat of the lovely plot.
But I am just being picky, it is warm, funny and sad with two great supporting roles from Aoife Duffin as Maria’s sister Liz and John Lynn as Joe’s co-worker Phil.
Sci-fi fans will notice nods to Superman, The Matrix, Total Recall and Doctor Who.
Perhaps Earthbound’s cage has a few bumps and scratches, that is only because it has a heart so big that it breaks the cage on its way out.
I will never look at O’Connell Street the same again.
For geeks, older children and romantics alike.
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