A group of plucky teens and tweens battle to save the planet from an invasion of pint-sized aliens with passable if patchy results in this workaday special effects heavy summer holiday CGI fest.
Smiley white-toothed middleclass couple Stuart (Nealon) and Nina (Vigman) Pearson drag their three kids - science nerd Tom (Jenkins), loved-up big sis Bethany (Tisdale) and sweet-natured lil sis Hannah (Boettcher) - off to a middle-of-nowhere holiday home in search of a bit of peace and quiet and some good old-fashioned family time. Once there they meet up with jaded Nana Rose (Roberts) and Stuart’s divorcee brother Nate (Richter) and his three sons - mini sergeant major Jake (Butler) and twins Art (H Young) and Lee (R Young). They barely have time to untangle the line from their rarely used fishing reels before the party is crashed by Bethany’s silver-tongued preppy squeeze Ricky (Hoffman). But they soon discover interlopers of a more threatening kind when a quartet of knee-high snot-green aliens land on the roof and declare their intentions to take over Earth.
What follows is predictable, paint-by-numbers summer kids’ fare that, even at 86 minutes, goes on way past its natural length. Things are helped along somewhat by some natty special effects – an inventive zero gravity sequence and an amusing Street Fighter inspired death match between Ricky and Nana being particularly noteworthy – but despite the actors’ best efforts the film is let down by stodgy dialogue, shallow characterisation and a lack of engaging ideas.
It’s slow moving and stretches its central high-concept conceit meniscus-thin but there are just enough laughs to keep the kids from completely losing interest.