2001: A SPACE TRAVESTY

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2001 - A Space Travesty Cover Excuse me, please. But can anyone inform me where 'space' actually is? I know it's around here somewhere, because I saw it in this rather funny looking 99 minute movie, devised in the year of our lord, 2000. It was Directed by: Allan A. Goldstein; and Starred my old mates, Leslie Nielsen, Ophélie Winter, with Peter Egan.


2001 - A Space Travesty


THE STORY:
Even though I don't know where I am or what I'm doing half the time, my Captain has sent me to the planet Vegan, so I can... can... can... err? What am I meant to be doing again?

Oh, yes. Now I remember! I have to save the president from the evil clutches of Dr. Griffin Pratt (Peter Egan), as well as stop him from making any more illegal clones in outer space.

OK. I have to admit. I wasn't the only person given this mission. Apart from me, Marshal "Dick" Dix (Leslie Nielsen), there were also two other foreign gentlemen I can't remember the names of, plus there was that very attractive lady with the blond hair, called Cassandra Menage (Ophélie Winter).

Anyway. Where was I? Ah-huh! That's right. Me in outer space with a lot of Dicks. No. Not, just 'Dicks'. People. Many, many other people and aliens trying to do something that I was meant to be doing for the sake of truth, justice, and other such things!

And I do, do it you know! Well I think I do anyhow? But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires calls my bluff, when the wrong president is finally set free. As Earth is the place to go - a grand event puts on a singing show - two presidents give me the horn - and six months later, a hero is left wishing that he went into porn.




THE REVIEW:
I'm afraid to say that '2001: A Space Travesty', is very much like many of the other failed Leslie Nielsen comedies he was a part of during the latter quarter of his career. I thought most of the jokes didn't work. The overall plot-line got swallowed up in a sea of farce. And despite Leslie himself doing a fairly good job at playing the stoic yet bumbling buffoon, the rest of the cast were as memorable as the jokes omitted throughout this production.

2001 - A Space Travesty Starring Leslie Nielsen
Now a good example of this would be that scene were Leslie's character mistakenly knocks off the 'hair piece' belonging to Peter Egan's character. Because instead of it being rather titivating or jovial to watch, what it ended up becoming, was a rather long winded sequence which didn't inform the conceptual narrative, and kind of acted in spite of it's initial intent (i.e. be funny).

Also, something else about this flick I wasn't too keen on was the way in which it kept on throwing semi-naked women at the screen, hoping that the sight of some skin would somehow counteract its lack of hilarity. 

Well. Let's face it. As much as I enjoy a good T & A gag like the rest of human kind. At the end of the day a story needs some story or else you might as well be browsing the internet for porn.

Now please don't get me wrong, folks. I'm not some sort of prude who has it in for Leslie or this type of very broad humor. Yet I do feel that movies are a medium that can be both entertaining and enlightening, whilst engaging with its audience on many different levels. Not just one.

A joke is a joke is a joke. I can't deny that. And by in large humor is matter of taste or maturity. Having said that, though, I know deep down inside me that this could have been a lot better than it ultimately was. Plus it does pain me to criticize any of Mister Nielsen's erstwhile efforts.       


2001 - A Space Travesty Starring Leslie Nielsen and Ophélie Winter


2001 - A Space Travesty Oriental Movie Poster
Anyway. Before I get too carried away with myself, I think it best I stop myself there, and present you with the following filmic-facts. (1)  'Cinevent / Helkon Media AG' first released this $26 million dollar production at the 'Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival', on the 31st of October, 2000. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled '2001: Space Messed Up' in Finland; 'Will He Cop to Save Humanity?' in France; and 'Marshall Dick: Son of the Naked Gun' in the Philippines. (3) Quite a bit of this movie was shot on location throughout the entire planet. This includes: Tokyo, in Japan; Québec, in Canada; Munich, in Germany; and Washington D.C., in the United States of America. (4) Now I'm sure you noticed that the spaceship Marshal Dix took to Vegan is owned by 'Pan Universe Airlines', which was the same company that owned the 'Mayflower 1' shuttle, as seen in 'Airplane II: The Sequel'. (5) Alan Shearman, who was one the scriptwriters assigned to pen this flick, also played the Security Gendarme in it too. (6) As its title implies, this film parodies elements taken from the 1968 Stanley Kubrick space opus, '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Moreover, it also references 'Benny Hill', 'Star Wars: Episode One', 'Saturday Night Fever', 'Back To The Future', 'Terminator 1 and 2', 'Total Recall', plus many-many more. (7) The tagline used to promote this picture, was, 'The Most Outer Spaced-Out Comedy Ever!'. (8) After this adventure pulled out of the driveway, Leslie Nielsen starred in the comedy, 'Santa Who?'; Ophélie Winter starred in the TV series, 'La cape et l'épée'; and Peter Egan starred in the TV movie, 'Un maresciallo in gondola'.


2001 - A Space Travesty Starring Ophélie Winter


Overall I'd say '2001: A Space Travesty' was a rather middle of the road comedy for die hard Nielsen fans only. The story was hardly a story. The jokes were lackluster at best. And even if some of the gags were kind of funny, all in all, 'kind of' didn't cut the mustard. 

Nuff said.

THE RATING: C