This is a movie that only makes sense after you have seen movies like Alien. Lots of those movies actually. Because this is a parody on those kinds of movies, but nobody is telling you.
So you just sit through the movie and like those things go, when scientists find an alien artefact, they pry it open as the typical cave dwellers they still are. And because it looks organic, they prod it. Yeah right you think, if you haven't walked out the theatre by then or pressed the stop button.
But anyway, a plot twist follows that caused me to gave it three stars, instead of a one. Acting is good, special effects are good, alien space ship is excellent.
But we have a lot of plot holes unfortunately. The alien artefact emits a signal that after decoding says "DO NOT OPEN". In English. That's what we would expect, wouldn't we, aliens that speak English. Also, if you want to say DO NOT OPEN, why encrypt it? Especially if you unleash death to an entire planet if you ignore the warning.
As usual, lesser films contain lots of scenes that add nothing to the overall picture. That our cryptologist fells for his female students is irrelevant for the movie. But I think the director was stretched to produce a 90 minute movie that could be done in 45 minutes and would have been the better for it.
The movie would have been much better if the background on Julian, his work on SETI, his life, hope and aspirations would have taken up a significant part of this movie. The only thing we learn now is that he has affairs with female students. Hardly surprising, irrelevant for the movie, and I doubt if ET likes to hear that part of his life as well.
Audio commentary of the director is interesting, he actually tells you where scenes come from, where it was shot, and such.