Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In short: Drones (2012)

Amber Benson's and Adam Busch's (yes, those Benson and Busch) Drones is a film about the old suspicion modern office culture has aroused in anyone who has ever spent more then five minutes in one of those places: some of these poor office drones must be aliens.

So it's not a complete surprise when somewhat shlubby office worker Brian (Jonathan M. Woodward) stumbles upon the truth that his best friend and colleague Clark (Samm Levine) is in fact an alien, and one researching Earth for future enslavement to boot. But Brian shouldn't worry, Clark is putting that one off for as long as he can.

Then, just after Brian and his office crush Amy (Angela Bettis), are taking steps towards an actual relationship, Amy tells Brian that she's an alien too, though one from a different planet with plans to destroy Earth. But Brian shouldn't worry, for Amy will save him and take him with her to her home world. That revelation leads to Brian freaking out, not so much because of the whole "destruction of Earth" business, but because moving in with a girlfriend one has only been together with for four days is a thing to let one freak out, especially when said girlfriend is from a mostly emotionless alien race and is making her first practical experiences with that sort of irrationality. Breaking up ensues.

Would you believe it's not the best idea to break up with your emotionally inexperienced girlfriend (not that Brian can talk here) who basically has the finger on the trigger for the destruction of Earth, nor mock her in an office public Power Point presentation? That things might get so problematic that only another Power Point presentation, the re-establishment of romantic relations and good old fashioned space hippies can save the day?

If you've read this, you'll probably already know if you'll find Drones funny or not. I, for one, did appreciate most of it: the parts when it felt like a less mean version of The Office (when I say "The Office", I do mean of course the rather brilliant UK show and not the endless US abomination based on it), the perfect low budget weirdness of its ideas (of course aliens will use the office environment to communicate with their respective home bases), and the tendency of its dialogue to get odder the longer a given dialogue scene goes on. I also really appreciate how many of Drones' comical digressions turn out to have actual narrative and thematic import later on. This isn't a comedy movie built from a series of sketches even if it may at first seem so,

Also lovely is Angela Bettis's performance. As someone familiar with her body of work, I wasn't really surprised how brilliant she was in her comical alien role. After all, her performances always have something not quite of "normal" humanity (that's a compliment), so if ever I have seen a perfect comical alien, it's her.

So, you know, you might try to watch this one. It's really funny.

No comments: