MRR Review: "Escape from Planet Earth"
on 2013-02-25 16:39
Movie Review: "Escape from Planet Earth"
Rating: PG (action and mild rude humor)
Length: 89 minutes
Release Date: February 15, 2013
Directed by: Cal Brunker
Genre: Animation / Adventure / Comedy
"Escape from Planet Earth" takes audiences on a wild ride to Baab, an alien planet colonized by blue humanoid creatures. On Baab there is much talk and admiration of Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser), a daring astronaut famous for his out-of-this-world rescues. Scorch's lesser-known brother Gary (Rob Corddry) also assists in these feats, though as a dorky head of mission control at BASA, he keeps a much lower profile than the heroic Scorch.
Things hit a rough note when BASA chief Lena (Jessica Alba) announces to the brothers that they've received a rescue call from the incredibly dangerous planet Earth. Afraid of the planet's notoriety, Gary immediately shuns the idea, warning Scorch of the dangers in the process. Unlike the cautious Gary, Scorch is intrigued by the risky mission, eager to complete it and save the day.
While Scorch sets out, determined to be a success, Gary sits back and nervously watches as his brother risks it all. Trouble strikes as the seemingly unstoppable Scorch is snared in a sneaky trap laid by Shanker (William Shatner), an evil human who is hell-bent on destroying all things alien. With his brother captured and the mission's outcome resting in his hands only, the overly cautious and fearful Gary must rise to the challenge. The stakes have never been higher, with the weight of so many worlds resting on little Gary. He must fight to save not only his brother but also his wife, his son, and his planet from humans who plan to wipe out all alien beings.
In order to save his brother from a fate unknown, Gary must travel to Earth for the rescue. Gary is certainly the odd man out on this unforgiving planet for aliens, where his brother and similar extraterrestrial beings are kept contained and used to provide the humans' seemingly endless knowledge of technology. Along his way, Gary meets up with several new friends who are more than willing to help him save his brother.
Despite Gary's guarded, dorky ways, Rob Corddry somehow manages to inject life and spunk into the character using only his voice. He's witty and likeable, holding his own just fine as Scorch is snatched from the center of the stage. Corddry is able to support the film as a lead and keeps viewers thoroughly entertained all the while.
Brendan Fraser is hilarious as the arrogant Scorch, grabbing laughs from the audience left and right with his unashamed antics of self-importance. As a hero with no greater love than himself, he isn't the typical movie favorite. Somehow, Fraser manages to make such a typically unlikeable character into one that viewers can't help but adore.
The animation of "Escape from Planet Earth" is spectacular, giving audiences a bright and exotic alien world to devour with their eyes. From the excitement of a 3-D experience to the freakishly human-looking aliens, the animation of the film really takes it to a whole new level. The animation team got the clean, futuristic look down well, making for a much more enjoyable viewing experience than many alien flicks provide.
Kids will love the storyline, which is chock-full of energy, excitement, and adventure. Children will be overjoyed, while parents will be able to catch a few laughs themselves. With everyday items like a 7-11 slurpee cooking up so many laughs, the humor is simple enough for a child to catch on, with a few more complex jokes that will leave adults grinning from ear to ear.
"Escape from Planet Earth" could have benefited from a bit more complexity in the storyline, though this tidbit really doesn't matter much to the younger crowd. Having a touch more drama or mystery could have gone a long way with adult viewers, as the simplicity of the film can be a bit mind-numbing at times. Despite this minor setback, the movie is still enjoyable, and the simple plot holds the attention of children quite well.
The film has a card that it plays quite well, with hilarious parodies of humans running rampant. From the stereotypical complaining girl at a movie to the country-bumpkin rednecks, "Escape from Planet Earth" has plenty of humorous human stereotypes that are likely to have your sides splitting with laughter.
With tons of adventure and humor that spans age groups, "Escape from Planet Earth" has all the makings of a quality animated film. It's a great choice for a fun-filled night of family entertainment.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars