Starring: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel
Directed by: John Carpenter
Written by: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 55 min
Note to any alien intelligence that comes across the Voyager 1 or 2 space probes as they leave our solar system. Do not for a moment consider visiting the third rock from the sun here, because despite our friendly invite, we will not be that welcoming! If you ignore my warning, at least try to visit another part of our planet other than the area called the United States of America. You must be picking up Earth’s more recent transmissions by now – please watch Starman, and then seriously consider a trip to Canada instead!
Starman tells the story of an alien visitor who responds to the welcome message from our Voyager space probe, and decides to give our little planet a visit. The problem is, once he gets to Earth and enters US air space, the military shoots first, and then actually don’t seem all that interested in asking questions later. After this explosive welcome to our planet, Starman takes the form of a young widow’s late husband and then immediately phones home. Do you blame him? That’s all E.T. wanted to do after he got here too. Aliens it seems, immediately regret their decision to come here, and for good reason.
But here’s where we get to the meat of this story in Starman. Sure it’s a science fiction film, but it’s also an effective romance between a young woman called Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen) and the alien that now looks like her late husband. Initially confusing and upsetting, but as they spend time together, her fears subside, and his understanding of the human race increases enough to make some poignant observations.
The central performance by Jeff Bridges in Starman is nothing short of perfect. A very well thought out physical performance, and dialog delivery that manages to some how be exactly what you’d expect from an alien’s first attempt to use a flesh and bone human body.
There are however some problems with the movie Starman. The visual effects are never completely convincing, and there’s a whole subplot surrounding a S.E.T.I (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) researcher called Mark Sherman (Charles Martin Smith) that for the most part doesn’t contribute a lot to the central story.
This is mostly light on the science fiction, and focuses more on the central love story. There are some lapses in logic here and there, but if you focus on the lead performances, you’ll likely find some enjoyment from the Starman experience.
This film is serviced just fine with a regular DVD or streaming show on your TV, laptop or tablet.
Starman nearly gets the couple killed when he speeds their car up to avoid a red traffic light:
Jenny Hayden: Okay? Are you crazy? You almost got us killed! You said you watched me, you said you knew the rules!
Starman: I do know the rules.
Jenny Hayden: Oh, for your information pal, that was a *yellow* light back there!
Starman: I watched you very carefully. Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast.