Escape From Planet Earth
Over the weekend, I did my part in babysitting my girlfriend's 6-year-old cousin. It was a lot of fun, but when the topic of going to a movie came up, there was some heated debate. I suggested seeing Django again, or at the very least seeing Die Hard 5, because I haven't gotten around to it yet. But noooooo, she wanted to see the only animated movie currently in theaters... Escape From Planet Earth. Typical 6-year-old nonsense...
Escape From Planet Earth is an animated film from Canada about an alien from Planet Baab named Gary Supernova (Rob Corddry), a mission control operator who helps his brother Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser), who is Planet Baab's greatest hero and biggest celebrity, do adventure missions or something (?). Scorch is all muscle and stupidity, and Gary is the cautious family man with extreme intelligence who must try to keep Scorch from getting into too much trouble. On a mission to Earth, Scorch gets taken hostage by the US government and Gary must go save him. Turns out USA is using alien technology to create and sell technology like the internet, touch screen phones, and social networking. So Gary also gets captured and is used to try to create a missile to destroy the universe.
This movie makes NO attempts to display Earth (or more specifically, the US government) as anything but jerks. There isn't really a nice human in the movie who helps them escape, because as it turns out, ALL the humans are scumbags. Though, I guess the main villain, Shanker (William Shatner), has a reason for being a jerk and wanting to destroy all alien races... In the darkest scene in the movie, Shanker's father is killed when a space ship crashes into him while Shanker was watching ten feet away (that's dark!). Still, this movie portrays America as the attempting perpetrator of a massive universal genocide, which is a pretty heavy topic for an animated PG children's comedy. And seeing how this is a Canadian film, this portrayal of America as the ultimate galactic villain goes to show what our neighbors up north really think about us. They're probably still mad at us for taking all the credit in Argo.
I found myself struggling to hold attention in the second half of the film, as it doesn't make any attempts to be a smart children's film. It's nothing but action scene after action scene. It's one of the loudest movies I've ever watched. Some scenes are needlessly action packed with absolutely no consequence. Just to go from their house to the office in one scene, Gary and his wife use rocket shoes to jet between cars in the an ADD-laden nonsensical hodgepodge of mindless action that I forgot about ten seconds into the next scene. This happened throughout the film.
The voice acting was... odd. I like Rob Corddry, but I don't understand why they cast him in the lead role as Gary. He's a comedian in a part that didn't have any jokes. And then the casting of Brendan Fraser was also odd. I like to think that whenever Brendan Fraser gets cast in something, it's because they asked 30 people before him who said "no." The other alien voices in the film were by the likes of Jane Lynch, George Lopez, and Jessica Alba. Ricky Gervais voiced a giant paycheck. I mean, he voiced a sarcastic computer, sorry. I'm sure it was a stretch for him to sound sarcastic.
On my way out of the theater, I overheard some kid give a criticism to his parents that I didn't even think about. "They said SUPERNOVA too many times!" Ya know what, kid, you're right, they did. The words of a child often hurt the most.
To close this out, I had a few logic questions I wanted to ask:
Every species of alien in the universe speaks English?
Every species of alien in the universe breathes oxygen?
They have sneakers on Planet Baab?
They have knit winter hats on Planet Baab?
They have cars on Planet Baab?
They have dogs on Planet Baab?
The news reporter on Planet Baab had a Spanish accent... so you're saying that Planet Baab has a region that also produces an identical accent to Earth's Spanish regions?
Why did none of the aliens in this movie have a nose? Not a single one had a nose.
Gary quit his high paying job over a small, personal dispute with his brother? Why didn't his wife seem to care? She didn't have a job, she was a stay-at-home mom. Also, he didn't give two weeks notice? That's pretty unprofessional. Is the entire company based solely on Scorch doing missions? Can't he get transferred to a different division of the company?
The US government used the alien technology to create and sell things like Facebook for lots of money? So they sold a billion dollar empire to a poor college student Mark Zuckerberg? What did the government gain?
That one alien was from the Sun? And she was a librarian from the Sun? They showed a scene of her organizing books in a building presumably on the Sun. So there's a race of aliens on the Sun that read books? How do the paper pages in the book not instantly catch on fire?
Why was there a talking rat planet, and why was the talking rat wearing a track suit?
Why were all of the aliens that got unfrozen at the government facility immediately able to run away, but Scorch was still paralyzed, even though he had only been frozen for a couple of days? All the other aliens were frozen for years. Gary wasn't paralyzed, if the logic is that minimal freezing would produce paralysis.
In the last scene of the movie, it's revealed that Gary brought the humans from the trailer park back to Planet Baab to be the DJs at Scorch's wedding (god what a dumb sentence). This brings up all sorts of questions... Is there oxygen on Baab? Can humans digest Baab food? Could humans handle the amount of space travel involved to take them to another planet? Were these two guys' minds blown that they were the first humans to ever experience intergalactic space travel? Did they even care? Did they bring their own DJ equipment? How did they figure out how to use Baab technology? Did someone teach them? Why couldn't they just have hired a Baab DJ? The humans weren't with them when they first escaped, so by all logic, Gary must have traveled all the way back to Earth to pick them up, just to be the DJs... How did Gary even know they knew how to DJ? How did he know they would be any good? Why didn't Gary get captured by the government again while coming back for the humans? Did he take the humans back home afterwards? I imagine all this space travel costs money, at least for fuel? How much money did he spend to have these DJs at the wedding? Perhaps a live band from Baab would have been more cost efficient in this scenario.
3 out of 10