E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) Film Review

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Quick disclaimer: I didn’t cry at the end. Yep, you read that right, I didn’t cry at the end of E.T. Maybe I have a heart of stone, but the point is you now have a good excuse to hate me. With that out of the way, on with the review…

I think most of us are familiar with the tale of the alien who finds himself in suburban America, and tries to “phone home”with the help of a young boy named Elliot. I mean, how could you not know? It’s a beloved classic that’s been copy and pasted by dozens of other movies, it spawned one of the most infamous games ever made (if you live in Mexico, get out a shovel and start digging, you might find a copy) and it’s one of those films that gets you banned from society if you confess you don’t like it. In others words, ET is a massive movie. So with how popular it is, you’d assume it would be perfect, right? Well… not exactly.

Wait a second! Put your pitchforks down, and hear me out. I didn’t say it was a bad movie. On the contrary, I thought it was great! It’s a great adventure and few movie scenes can match the giddy joy brought on by the bike chase at the end. However, I do think it has a few issues that are hard to ignore. I’ll get to my problems in a second, so for now, what did I like?

I’ve always favoured practical effects over CGI, and E.T himself is the perfect example of this. The animatronics really hold up and he’s just as cute as he was back in 1982 (unless you’re my sister and find him scarier than the Xenomorphic) and the kids work off him perfectly. Speaking of which, all the kids did a surprisingly good job portraying their characters to support the story, as do the adults. That’s musical maestro John Williams supplying the music, and while it’s not quite as iconic as some of his other scores, he’s still in fine form as always.

All the issues I have with this movie are all story based. Now it’s a classic story, yeah, but I felt that E.T didn’t really bond with the kids as “friends”. Most of the time they spend together is trying to get him back home, so I personally feel their should’ve been a couple of scenes where they had development in their friendship, just to make the final scene all the more effective. There’s also a plot thread set up where it looks like Elliot and E.T have some sort of connection, but aside from a random scene in a school and the bit at the end where they test on the two (that also came out of nowhere, might I add), it doesn’t really go anywhere.

So yes, I do think this movie has issues, but I also really liked it. There’s a lot of heart and it has that good old Spielberg charm, but when it comes to his films, I’m more of an Indiana Jones guy. Still, I would say it’s worth watching, but you’ve all watched it already, so what’s the point? Now, to add riding a bike whilst listening to the theme to my bucket list…

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