escape-from-planet-earth
Follow Genre: Animation, Adventure
Director: Cal Brunker
Distributor: Splendid Film

Escape from Planet Earth (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
6.9
Good: Intresting story, decent animation
Bad: A bit flat, uninspired designs
User Score
6.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Escape From Planet Earth is the first theatrical release of Rainmaker Entertainment, Inc. These guys previously made Beast Wars: Transformers (back then they were called Mainframe Entertainment Inc.), which is a really well animated story (for its time), with a lot of content. If you combine that with the fact that the creators also worked on Despicable Me 2 and Ice Age 4, you know there must’ve be some talent that went in the creation of the film. However, sadly enough, it doesn’t always seem to come out.

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Escape From Planet Earth starts with Scorch Supernova (Brendan Frasier), a heroic astronaut from planet Baab, rescuing babies on a faraway planet filled with bite-happy dog-like monsters. He is kind of stupid, but manages to overcome a lot of problems due to his prowess and his rogue-like daring. At times where strength isn’t enough, he has his older brother Gary Supernova (Rob Corddry) to help him make the right decision. Gary is the resident genius at BASA (the Baab equivalent of NASA) and takes care of mission control while his adventurous younger brother is out doing the dangerous work.

Scorch however takes all the recognition for the success of the mission, leaving Gary frustrated at the popularity of his brother. The siblings start bickering, which results in Scorch flying solo on his most dangerous mission as of yet: a trip to the mysterious Dark Planet – which just happens to be old blue Planet Earth. None of the aliens who ever traveled to Earth have made it back and it is up to Scorch to find and rescue any alien he might find. Once landed, Scorch finds himself under attack by General Shanker Saunderson (William Shatner) and his men. When the hero astronaut is captured, it is up to Gary, his wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and their son to save Scorch.

Escape From Planet Earth has a lot of stars doing the voices. Except the names already mentioned, the cast is joined by Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Steve Zahn, Chris Parnell and Ricky Gervais, so they really put some effort into getting A-listers. However, except Shatner and Gervais, the performances aren’t really exceptional. It isn’t bad per se, but none of the voices jump out as particularly well done or unique. For a movie about weird aliens, it just comes across as dull.

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Gervais’s role in the movie is James Bing, a sarcastic computer who helps fly the spaceship and gives witty comments on the protagonists’ actions. Gervais, well known for being quite the harsh stand up comedian, plays very restrained, making sure his banter is child proof. This is great for the younger ones, but it feels like a waste to get Gervais and not use him to his fullest.

The story is pretty original and has enough action to stay entertaining throughout the duration of the movie. All characters get their little moment to shine and the director (Cal Brunker) makes sure that everyone behaves consistently with their personalities. The only thing that lacks is tension. There are moments were you should be feeling more unsure of what’s about to happen, but choices are made to explicitly tell you that everything is going to be alright. To be fair, there never is a doubt in cartoons such as these, but spelling it out for you makes it even less exiting.

Animation wise the movie is well put together. The designs are a bit uninspired, but again, they are consistent in their little universe. Since it is about a world beyond our world, you would’ve expected some cool looking unique designs, but that doesn’t really happen. This movie plays it safe and keeps the designs of the aliens pretty standard. The quality of the animation is good, there’s just never a “Wow” moment, which would’ve really made the movie that much better.

escape-from-planet-earth-1As said before, this movie plays it safe. To further empower that, they added a little monologue at the end, stating the importance of family values. In the previous 89 minutes we’ve already been shown how important family is and how love is a really great thing, so repeating it at the end really wasn’t useful. The only person who is allowed to do that is Charlie Chaplin, and even he got a lot of flak for it in The Great Dictator.

Conclusion:

Escape from Planet Earth is a harmless little animation movie. However, it feels pretty average and doesn’t really do anything to set it apart from the millions of other harmless little animation movies. It’s a tale of missed potential, since the story is pretty unique and tell worthy. It also shows that having a great cast doesn’t necessarily mean great performances. Taking into account all that, time still flew by watching it and it certainly had some funny moments.

 

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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Escape from Planet Earth (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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