March 1, 2021

With the publication of movies comes a factor that can make or break the gross profit: ratings. 

Rotten Tomatoes, regarded as one of the most trustworthy movie/television recommendation sites, has rated thousands of movies with the help of curators and Tomatometer-approved critics.

The ratings are in percentage terms: from 100 per cent to zero. Most people would try to avoid the latter, but in this case, a zeroes is preferred.

Credit to Mac and Me Joint Venture

Mac and Me is about a single mother and her two sons moving to Los Angeles due to the mother’s new job and the death of the father, unaware of the extra terrestrial stowed away in their car after escaping a laboratory.

After discovering the alien they name M.A.C. (which stands for mysterious alien creature… very creative), Eric, the wheelchair-bound protagonist, Michael, his brother, Debbie, his neighbourhood friend, and Courtney, Debbie’s sister, rush to reunite M.A.C. with his family while being chased by agents who want M.A.C. back. 

This concept sounds an awful lot like another extraterrestrial movie, the title being the first letter in the bolded words. That is right. This movie is clearly ripping off E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which came out in 1982, six years before Mac and Me was released. Mac and Me Joint Venture thought that they could get away with it, but it was pretty obvious. There may be a 38 per cent audience score, but a majority are one stars, with comments laced on the fact that this is E.T. — if there was product placement every fifteen seconds.

Credit to Rotten Tomatoes

There is even a scene in Mac and Me which is similar to the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial scene, but way more ridiculous (and that is quite a feat).

But enough about how it is a blatant ripoff. Let us talk about the issues with this movie.

In the first scene, you are immediately introduced to the aliens on their planet. At this point, you should just turn the movie off, unless you want to be scarred. The aliens look awful. 

Credit to Mac and Me Joint Venture

They look like pimples that do not want to pop. They have elf ears and bulgy eyes, and mouths shaped like “o” and sometimes like  “O”. They also have some kind of lump on top of their heads, like their horns have not grown in yet. They are probably devil horns, because they look like they came from Hell. 

Even the hands are creepy. They just had to add fingernails.

Credit to Mac and Me Joint Venture

Product placement is also established in the first scene, with our protagonist, Eric, holding a Coca Cola can which is clearly empty (most cans are in this movie). About ten minutes later, when Eric is in his new room and unpacking, he has both Coca Cola AND a Skittles bag. It seems they tried to be more subtle with these, because in most scenes the Coca Cola logo is facing away, and the Skittles bags are always upside down. 

Credit to Mac and Me Joint Venture
Credit to Mac and Me Joint Venture

Then there is McDonald’s. 

Courtney works at McDonald’s. Michael asks Eric if they want to go get Big Macs. This is not terrible product placement, it is not in your face. Surely, they would not do something like tha–

Credit to Mac and Me Joint Venture

… I have been to a McDonald’s party. There was no Ronald McDonald nor a sudden synchronized dance mob. The 80s were really something. 

You may be thinking to yourself, “Okay, so ripoff and product placement aside, what is so horrible about this movie?” Even if those two factors were not in this movie, the logic is horrible in itself. 

Some scenes are done simply just ‘cause. For example, there is a scene where M.A.C. completely renovates the living room to look like the wilderness for no particular reason. His home planet does not even have trees, so it is not like he did it because he was homesick. 

Then there are scenes that completely do not make sense. Here are a list of scenes that make no sense:

Before M.A.C.’s discovery, M.A.C. goes around the house turning on the shower for some reason. When Eric tells his mom about the shower, she rationalizes it by theorizing that maybe one of the neighbourhood kids did it.

The doctor does a neurological examination– the whole follow-my-finger-thing– and based on that test alone, the doctor infers that Eric has been seeing things. I am no doctor, but I am pretty sure you cannot determine hallucinations with a finger. 

In driving scenes, the green screen is going super fast. Surprised they do not crash.

M.A.C., a species that can only communicate via whistling, can somehow read the newspaper.

Eric disguises M.A.C. by stuffing him in a conveniently large teddy bear costume, and when Debbie’s mother asks how the bear is moving, Eric says that it is “computerized” and has “microchips”.

Okay, so a majority of the movie is awful and illogical, but what about the ending? 

Do not get me started about the ending. 

There are going to be major spoilers at this point, so if you plan on watching this movie– which I do not know why you would want to– then I suggest you read the conclusion.

M.A.C. is reunited with his family, and are stowed into Michael’s van. They stop at a gas station, where the aliens step out and go into a grocery store. Panic ensues; one thing leads to another and the father alien has a gun, which he holds limply. Police arrive, pointing their gun at him while Eric, Michael, Debbie and Courtney protest. Again, one thing leads to another and the store explodes. Eric was too close to the store, as he was trying to save his new friends, causing him to die. 

Everyone is sad, when suddenly the aliens emerge from the flames. They crouch down beside Eric and place their hands on his chest. Eric levitates, and begins breathing again. 

Then there is the final scene. It pans to a man listing constitutional rights, then pans further to a crowd of people with their right hand in the air, then it pans even more to the entire alien family, clothed, with their hands up. Yes, that is right, they became American citizens. Eric and his family congratulate them (Side note: Eric is still in a wheelchair; so the aliens could regive him life, but they could not heal his legs). 

Oh, and the father alien can drive. 

The final scene shows M.A.C. blowing a giant bubble, which says “We’ll Be Back!” News flash: There was no sequel, and thank goodness for that. 

So, overall, Mac and Me is a washed-out and commercially driven E.T. ripoff. This movie is so horrible, that I would not even wish upon my worst enemies to watch this movie. But, despite all of this negative criticism, I am going to give this movie five out of five Big Macs.

Oh. Looks like they are all gone. Looks like zero out of five is much more suitable. Thank you Rotten Tomato curators for giving Mac and Me the appropriate rating, and continuing your professionalism with all the films reviewed.

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