Escape From Planet Earth Reviews
Problem is the films title doesn't really sum up the films plot all too well. A couple of aliens get caught on Earth by some evil military geezer and are held captive in an Area 51 type area...oh wait it is Area 51. There, alongside other captured aliens, they are forced to build this big death ray laser gun thing to destroy planets. Why? because the evil human military leader is evil and wants to...plus the Roswell aliens killed his dad in the infamous Roswell crash. Clever huh? no not really you're right.
So as you may have already guessed this CGI animated film contains almost every cliched cheesy cornball sci-fi in-joke and visual gag you can imagine. The entire film is completely pointless in the fact that the whole thing has been done time and time again and there really is no need for this to exist. The main alien characters just look dull, completely dull and lifeless blue cliched aliens. All the alien sidekicks they meet up with are your bog standard array of yet more cliches...a slimy alien, a big strong angry alien and a cute little furry alien, all bases covered.
I guess the real crime here (lame plot and character design aside) is the really really average CGI animation. The backgrounds, skies, spacescapes and landscapes all look nice, nothing to blow your eyes from their sockets but they are nice. But in general most of the locations/settings, all the characters, the equipment on display and alien planet terrain/city all look pretty damn generic and bland. Lets just call it planet bland with lots of interstellar alien logos, yep the aliens in this have their own TV stations, sponsors, adverts etc...just like us! its all very crap.
The voice cast doesn't boost your moral put it that way, you know to be weary when Brendan Fraser gets the lead role lets be honest. The story is weak and pointless, the visuals are bright and colourful but sorely lacking quality, few laughs to be had, drab characters and rather limp action sequences. This really is a poor man's 'Monsters vs Aliens' in every sense, feels more like a glossy kids cartoon for a dreary rainy Saturday afternoon.
Considering this is all about aliens and space adventure its virtually grounded on Earth for the whole run time, not much escaping going on anywhere.
"Escape from Planet Earth" is one of those animated movies that just comes off as a cheap version of a Disney or Dreamworks movie. It's fine for like a straight to dvd movie, but not for a theatrical release(which it got). The animation is ok, nothing great or new, and the voice cast is decent. Brandon Fraser, William Shatner, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rob Corddry, among others do an ok with what they can. But they all honestly seem like their going through the motion, knowing this is going to be subpar at best. Overall, the story is just "meh". It's about a hot shot alien who goes to "the dark planet"(aka, Earth) to impress his fellow aliens. When he gets here he is captured and his dorky alien brother must come an save him. It has a few laughs, but overall it's kind of flat. I took my 2 year old(it was showing as one of the "Free Summer Kids" movies), and e seemed disinterested in it for the most part(he usually likes cartoons). This was originally in 3D, and some of it may have looked cool, but I think it's probably just as bland. Worth a one time watch with the kiddos? Sure. But it's probably not something that will be on repeat viewing.
Mediocre animated movie! Escape from Planet Earth isn't really the most ideal viewing for children, especially considering even at eighty-nine minutes it treads the fine-line of being much of a muchness. But there's a good heart, a somewhat interesting story, solid visual flair, tolerable characters, a recognizable and capable cast of voices, and the generic but welcomed warmth animated films so innocently bare. If it's the worst animated film I'll see this year, I'll be quietly content; if it's the best I'll be concerned.
The story takes place on planet Baab where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), head of mission control at BASA.
The animations in this film aren't all that special, as they're conventional and, if you will, a little too over-the-top, often to the point of feeling lacking in life, yet the designs never abate when it comes to delivering on sheer color, particularly during the action. The film doesn't exactly play up action all that much, and when it does, it's hardly all that special, but heights in set piece liveliness such as the action prove to be reasonably fun, if formulaic in their staging and upping momentum. Really, technical value is consistent in sustaining some degree of entertaining momentum, which is truly charged by genuine highlights in writing, of which there are only so many. To tell you the truth in advance, Bob Barlen's and Cal Brunker's script is not simply weak, but bad, so it's Brunker's still-flawed direction which really saves the final product as merely mediocre, although it does receive help from highlights in humor that are in turn complimented by highlights in voice acting, in addition to the direction. Granted, even then, Brunker, as director, may save this film, but also threatens the final product with his own laziness, and yet, the point is that credit is due to brisk pacing, backed by the sense of laziness' at least being prevalent enough to not feel actively insulting. Well, the film takes down to the viewers a fair bit, yet on the whole, this flick is simply too bland to be bad, and while that aspect is ultimately what saves the misguided misfire as simply mediocre, there's no denying that the technical sharpness and occasionally storytelling sharpness don't have something to do with the final product's ever so narrowly avoiding collapse into contemptibility. Of course, the fact of the matter is that this film is no more likable than it is unlikable, having its strengths, to be sure, but also an almost crippling collection of weaknesses, or at least laziness, even within its basic story concept.
Now, I'm not asking that this film be all that unique, but may I be struck down if there's anything original here, as this narrative, at least in concept, is so shamelessly trite that even the sci-fi mythology behind it conforms too much to traditional sci-fi formulas, as well as to human cultures. The concept behind this film itself is completely uncreative, being lacking in its mythology's depth, as well as devoid of originality in its story, whose scripted execution, courtesy of Bob Barlen and Cal Brunker, makes matters worse with a wealth of tropes, as well as plenty of other problems. Again, while there are highlights in Barlen's and Brunker's writing, this script, as this film's weakest attribute, is pretty bad, with humor which is plagued with painfully obvious references, glaring immaturity and all-around cheesiness that exacerbate a sense of laziness, which is even found within characterization. Thinly drawn characters back a lame, clumsily structured plot that pays little attention coherency, and is only one of many misguided elements that make Barlen's and Brunker's script an ultimately considerable misfire that would make the final product bad if it wasn't for the directorial efforts that, for the record, also have their own problems to worry about. I mean, the highlights in Brunker's efforts as director are certainly there, but lowlights are impossible to ignore, making cloying plays on anything from lame-brain writing to an unlistenable pop soundtrack that cleanse storytelling of subtlety, while overtly busy plays on momentum to plotting, though adequately entertaining, get to be frantic an obnoxious point. As you can imagine, this pacing freneticism's ironic fusion with laziness in most every other storytelling aspect reflects the trait that really drives this "effort" into frustrating: stupidity, which would be easier to forgive if the film wasn't too aware of its thinness to be inspired. Needless to say, there is just enough inspiration to the handling of this sometimes amusing, often adequately entertaining and consistently colorful family affair for the final product to evade contemptibility, but there's still a certain pretense of entertainment value surrounding this misguided mess that seems to talk down, not just to the youths, but to just about everyone, and while I can't promise that you'll be frustrated with this film to the point of out-and-out disliking it, I am more comfortable in assuring that this pseudo-effort is a challenge that offers nothing new and barely anything inspired, until finally sputtering out deep into mediocrity - nay - on the cusp of contemptibility.
When it's finally time to escape from this film, through solid animation and colorful highlights in action, voice acting, writing and direction, the final product just barely escapes collapse into all-out badness, but through a trite and thinly drawn story concept, lame-brain script and frantic direction, aggravating laziness is stressed enough to firmly secure "Escape from Planet Earth" as a mediocre misfire of a steaming pile of sci-fi family filler (Again, I don't quite hate it, but boy, I come close).
2/5 - Weak