Escape from Planet Earth online movie review - Escape From Planet Rehash
Escape From Planet Earth (2013) USA/Canada, 89 minutes, Rated PG (ON) G (QC) Reviewed 02/13, © Stephen Bourne
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and Warm Bodies supporting cast member Rob Corddry lends his voice to Vancouver-based Rainmaker Entertainment's first big screen CG-animated Sci-Fi feature. Corddry stars as Gary, unappreciated Head of Space Agency Mission Control on his home planet Baab, launched 50 light years through space to the perilous Dark Planet (aka Earth) when his daring younger brother, astronaut Scorch Supernova (voiced by Brendan Fraser,) is imprisoned as part of the diabolical scheme of Area 51's General Shanker (William Shatner).
Escape From Planet Earth is definitely made for kids. That makes sense, considering its source. Canadians might remember Mainframe Entertainment's wildly successful computer animated TV series ReBoot (1994-2001). ReBoot was clearly made for teens. Rainmaker is the latest incarnation of Mainframe. That pretty much ends the notable fun facts, other than this flick also features the voices of Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, George Lopez, Sofía Vergara, Ricky Gervais, and Steve Zahn. Who do they play? It doesn't matter.
This movie is surprisingly mediocre and unimaginative. It's presented as a comedy for children, but the jokes consistently fall flat for kids and their accompanying adults. There's also a 3D version playing, so things do jab and jerk around a lot, all 3D-like, for no reason. Everything is bright-eyed and colourful, too. And, ooh, there's a food fight scene. Yawn. Director Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen's screenplay certainly sets the ground work for a potentially amazing aliens-on-Earth adventure, but so much of what transpires here feels lazily derivative of Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), Planet 51 (2009), Transformers (2007), Men in Black (1997), and even Independence Day (1996) that I couldn't help wonder how Escape From Planet Earth avoided being fast tracked to the wasteland of video-on-demand. This is a small screen effort. Too small for most tots.
Checking out the official website at escapeearthmovie.com serves up the usual synopsis, scene stills, trailer page and social media links, plus a basic roster of the main characters. You'll also find the simple Escape From Planet Earth Area 51 maze and Gnarlach Rescue jumping games. Its Alien Welcome Kit features An Alien's Brief History of Planet Earth, where we learn Area 51 opened its door to alien visitors of every shape, colour and smell in 1947. The site's Alien Activities Funzone offers three printable puzzle pages that are also included in the six-page For Educators and Parents downloadable activities PDF from Young Minds Inspired. The website is more cleverly thought out than the movie itself.
For a $40 million film project that's reportedly been in the works since 2007, Escape From Planet Earth is forgettable at best. If you have small kids who love anything Sci-Fi, save yourself the box office aggravation by pointing them at the comparably clever website while waiting a couple of seconds for this boring blockbuster rehash to air on the Cartoon Channel. Reviewed 02/13, © Stephen Bourne.