Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: Escape From Planet Earth

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Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Story artist Cal Brunker, responsible for animation sequences in films like Horton Hears a Who, Despicable Me and Ice Age 4, steps into the director's chair for the first time in this animated 3D intergalactic adventure.

His experience as an animator shines. Escape from Planet Earth is a great-looking animation filled with riotous colour and stylish design. Unfortunately, it's let down by a lack of originality and simple, predictable characters.

The relationship at the centre of this interplanetary adventure is reminiscent of another film about a blue-coloured alien, Megamind. Both films feature under-appreciated geniuses who are constantly upstaged by good-looking, media-loving superheroes, and in both cases it's the underdog who must save the day.

Gary (Corddry) is head of Mission Control on the planet of Baab. He's nerdy, intelligent and likes to follow the rules, as opposed to his brother Scorch Supernova (Fraser), whose reckless and daring rescue missions have made him a much-loved national hero.

Gary works as Scorch's wingman, the office-bound brains behind his missions, but they have a falling out when Scorch accepts a suicide mission to the most dangerous planet in the universe - Earth.

When Scorch goes missing on Earth it's up to Gary to rescue his brother, who has been captured by humans and put into an alien prison. It's quite a bit like the military-run monster prison in Monsters vs. Aliens but, unfortunately, none of the inmates is quite as lovable, funny or interesting this time round.

And that's generally the problem with Escape from Planet Earth. There aren't enough cute or unpredictable characters to make the story memorable, and there aren't enough laughs to really keep the adults interested.

At least Brinker keeps the story whipping along at a cracking pace and that helps make this colourful and amiable animation easy entertainment for the younger kids these school holidays.

Stars: 2.5/5
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba
Director: Cal Brunker
Running time: 89 mins
Rating: PG (low level violence)
Verdict: Colourful time-waster

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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