Title: 51

Directed by: Jason Connery

Starring: Rachel Miner, Jason London and Bruce Boxleitner

Running time: 90 minutes, Rated R

After much pressure from the public and the media, the American government and military have conceded to allow entrance and tours in the famed Area 51 and Hanger 18, to give a preview of secret military inventions and to prove there is no such thing as aliens…until the “non-existent aliens” escape.

Just so you know what you’re getting yourself into, I’ll give you two words: Syfy Original. The plot is very cliche and ultra lame. In the off chance the media were to run into the aliens, why would you put everything in one hanger? Why would you allow contact with Patient Zero, knowing it’s a dangerous patient? Human error is too big a liability to risk this patient escaping, which everybody knows is going to happen as soon as the character is introduced. Next there’s a friendly alien that is treated like an employee named “J Rod” whose nose looks unashamedly vaginal. Then there are the Killer Bong/HR Giger’s Alien ripoff/mashup creatures “Lady Death and “Little Devil,” and these can only be distracted by a sonic pen light. Again if they’re that dangerous, why are they put together on the same floor and right next to each other? I know military intelligence is an oxymoron, but c’mon.

Rachel Miner played a decent character as a war hero turned Area 51 guard. I liked how tough they made her out to be, but the character is basically wasted because of the 50-or-so other unnecessary characters crammed in a 90 minute movie. Jason London had some funny moments, but his character was also lost among the crowded cast. Syfy, lemme give you a little advice when it comes to casting: usually less is more…unless it’s a bunch of D-listers like this one, then it’s okay to go nuts.

The DVD extras include a behind the scenes segment with cast interviews and a couple of video game trailers.

In SyFy’s 51, campy horror abounds. Apparently you can load up a jeep with C4 and sort of Tokyo drift into an alien to blow it up while launching yourself out of the vehicle in time to save yourself, and then out drive nuclear fallout. Of course it’ll work, this is SyFy. 51 is an “I’m bored on a Saturday afternoon” type of film, not quality cinema.

Total rating: D

Reviewed by JM Willis

51 Jason Connery

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