They Live (1988) Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower - movie review on The Movie Scene

They Live (1988)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Roddy Piper in They Live (1988)

It's Packing Heat

Homeless construction worker, Nada (Roddy Piper), finds a pair of sunglasses in with the rubbish and thinks nothing of them till he puts them on and gets a massive shock. These sunglasses allow Nada to see the truth from the billboards which secretly control people's thoughts to the hidden mind control voices coming from every day technology. But the biggest surprise which Nada gets is the discovery that a lot of humans are in fact aliens and all these subliminal messages are from these aliens.

I am not big on movies which are social commentaries and as such I have to say that whilst for some who watched John Carpenter's "They Live" at the end of the 80s there is the social commentary side it has never worked for me, coming to this movie for the first time a decade later. The thing is that if you don't get hooked on the social commentary side of "They Live" what you end up with is an uneven movie with some fun ideas and scenes but not much in between.

As such what "They Live" ends up being memorable for is one the whole vision of aliens looking skeletal when Nada puts on the glasses, the whole mind control truth behind advertising and of course Roddy Piper not only putting in some wrestling moves as he fights to survive but going all gung-ho at times when he has a shot gun in his hands. And all those bits I mentioned are a whole lot of fun as is some of the dialogue but once again all the stuff in between just doesn't keep you involved.

What this all boils down to is that "They Live" is a movie with some entertaining ideas, entertaining scenes, entertaining effects and with lines such as "Life's a bitch and she's packing heat" it has some entertaining dialogue. But as a whole the stuff in between all this just isn't there to make it work as a whole.


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