Escape From Planet Earth 3D Review
Posted by Nolan Woodford on 03.11.2013
When a computer animated movie doesn't even get a crappy video game released alongside it, you know it's a lost cause...
Gary Supernova: Rob Cordry Scorch Supernova: Brendan Fraser Kira Supernova: Sarah Jessica Parker Kip Supernova: Jonathan Morgan Heit Lena: Jessica Alba General Shanker: William Shatner Dock: Craig Robinson Thurman: George Lopez Io: Jane Lynch Gabby Babblebrook: Sofia Vergara Steve Zahn: Hawke Chris Parnell: Hammer Ricky Gervais: Mr. James Bing
The Weinstein Company presents a film co-written by Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen. Directed by Cal Brunker. Rated PG for action and some mild rude humor. Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes Release Date: February 15, 2013
Escape From Planet Earth is at least the tenth computer animated film in the last five years to feature aliens and/or outer space as its main plot device. It is also the fifth theatrical release in that timespan to feature George Lopez as a voice actor, and the sixth such feature with Jane Lynch. So it likely shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Escape From Planet Earth doesn't offer anything that distinguishes it from anything else already in your kids' DVD collection.
The only reasons we're even sure these characters are aliens and not humans is because their skin is blue and they don't call their planet Earth. They seem to have every human feature available (besides hair) and even dress similarly to people in science fiction movies. Yet, they are terrified of the "Dark Planet", whose inhabitants have captured each of the hundred or so aliens that have attempted to visit it. That doesn't stop Planet Baab's big hero, Scorch (Fraser) from heading there to try and save some of his fellow aliens.
Before setting course for Earth, however, Scorch has a big blowup with his younger, scrawnier brother, Gary (Cordry), whose son (Heit) idolizes his uncle instead of his dad. Gary wants nothing to do with the mission and quits, leaving Scorch without his help. Big brother is then, of course, captured at Area 51 by the evil, alien-hating General Shanker (Shatner) and little brother takes it upon himself to come save him.
Shanker has captured many prisoners of the "Dark Planet" to put them to work, creating search engines, social networks, and other wildly useful and popular technologies. There are a couple of chuckle-worthy moments in the aliens' exchanges on Earth, but most of the supporting cast is just there to try and sell the movie as good Happy Meal fodder. I don't know of any fast food chains that bit. Even 7-Eleven, whose logo and Slurpees are plastered all over Escape From Planet Earth, has done nothing to promote the movie. Did anyone?
You can't blame anyone for not wanting to. There's really not much of anything to love, hate, or even have an opinion on here, even for some young children, most likely. There's nothing to complain about with the animation itself, however the 3D upcharge is completely unnecessary. Ricky Gervais appears as a HAL 9000 knockoff, but there's a good chance you'll have forgotten he was even in the movie before the credits are done rolling.
Every scene offers feelings of "Been There, Seen That" with a stale, yet still mismanaged and convoluted plot. Even more forgettable than Gary and Scorch's adventures on the Dark Planet, is a subplot involving Gary's wife (Parker) and son being kidnapped by another female alien (Alba) romantically linked to the alien-hating militant. It's near impossible at times to tell the difference between the good girl and the evil one, or how the courting process between two different species on two different planets works. Escape From Planet Earth is so overwhelmingly mediocre in every way, it doesn't really matter if you can.
The 411: Despite offering a small handful of cute moments, Escape From Planet Earth serves as nothing but a name on a marquee to pass the time from one animated release to the next. None of the characters are particularly memorable and the film seems more interested in selling Slurpees than establishing any kind of interest in its jumbled, uninspired plot. Anyone whose age has reached double digits may have trouble finding Escape From Planet Earth to be anything but a chore to sit through.