By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
I’m glad I took my son to see “Escape from Planet Earth,” so at least one of us had a good time.
The young man, who recently turned 8, gave the animated feature an A plus. I don’t know know why he gave it an A plus. To me, that’s a ridiculous grade for what I considered a terribly predictable space adventure, but the boy seemed to be genuinely entertained. Go figure.
Gary (Rob Corddry) is a little blue man from outer space who believes in safety first, and his brother, Scorch (Brendan Fraser), is a bigger blue man who prefers action over thinking. Of course, Gary’s son wants to grow up to be like good, old Uncle Scorch.
The two brothers have unkind words for each other, and before you can say “I saw that coming,” Scorch is a prisoner on Earth, otherwise known as “The Dark Planet,” and Gary has been pushed into a rescue mission.
On Earth, Gary winds up in Area 51, under the control of Gen. Shanker (William Shatner), who orders Gary and the other aliens to put their superior scientific knowledge to worth furthering his not-so-nice plans. Shanker dangles the possibility of freedom if they do his bidding, but can a man who wears fake Elvis Presley hair be trusted?
I’ve been spoiled by other animated features that manage to entertain kids and adults at the same time. I think the team behind “Escape from Planet Earth” tried to reach me a few times. Most of their efforts fell flat, though I did appreciate a “Spock” reference. I also laughed when George Lopez’s character blew a snot bubble, but that happened near the end when I was grasping for anything the movie had to offer.
“Escape from Planet Earth” has a paint-by-numbers story that won’t surprise anyone with more than 20 years of movie-going experience. A lot of stuff that happens has happened in other movies. That’s a shame for me, but, again, my son had fun, so I don’t want to be too harsh here.
There are weird plot points that don’t make sense, but that would be piling on. Let me end with this: When the final credits rolled, I thought I was going to have to apologize to my son for making him sit through a horrible movie. But that wasn’t necessary, so I’ll add points to my final grade.
I give “Escape from Planet Earth” a D plus.
It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville, and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
‘Roadkill” Bill Wizard 106.7. He gives ‘Escape from Planet Earth’ a C.
“It’s an all-star cast, but the story is predictable.”