ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (3D)
DIRECTOR: CAL BRUNKER
VOICE CAST: Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ricky Gervais, Jonathan Morgan Heit; Sofía Vergara, George Lopez, Craig Robinson, Jane Lynch
CLASSIFICATION: PG V
RUNNING TIME: 90min
Escape from Planet Earth (3D) sees hero astronaut Scorch Supernova (voiced by Fraser) from the planet Baab take on a dangerous mission to the “dark planet” aka Earth on an apparent rescue attempt.
Against his more intelligible side-kick (and also mission controller) brother’s warnings, Scorch goes ahead and lands in hot water on the dark planet.
Brother Gary (Corddry) then takes a terrifying step away from the control board and into a spaceship to rescue his brother.
This effort soon requires the whole family’s involvement in the mission to rescue each other, and other aliens who’ve found themselves in trouble on Earth.
But can they pull it off?
Writing duo Bob Barlen and Cal Brunker have done a great job of scripting an exciting story that also teaches values like family, responsibility, forgiveness and brotherhood.
They’ve done so by making the brothers, Gary and Scorch, central to the plot. Gary is the big brother who is little in stature and quite nerdy. And Scorch is the total opposite – the burly, jock-type risk taker, act now, think later one.
Within their relationship, including squabbles and breaking away and coming back together, there are lessons about the value of the family bond holding strong no matter what happens.
When Gary’s wife and son get pulled into the mission, the kids learn the importance of family sticking together.
When the other alien species who’re trapped on earth band together to help with the escape, we learn the importance of a sense of community in struggle.
This aspect of the movie also makes for great comic elements with characters like Thurman (Lopez), Doc (Robinson) and Io (Lynch).
Of course, all of this enlightenment is packaged in an action-packed parcel of highly advanced space ships and ultra cool space suits that shoot laser beams that are strong enough to levitate a space ship.
So the little ones will be so taken up with the pretty dressing, that they probably won’t even be aware of all the good they’re absorbing subconsciously. It’s like positive brain washing.
On the animation front… maybe it’s just me but… I couldn’t help but think of Planet 51 from the time I saw the ads for Escape from Planet Earth. In fact, I went into the preview expecting it to be a sequel to Planet 51. And then, of course. I realised they are two completely different movies.
And so I Googled images of Planet 51 and realised why I had this link between the two in my mind – it’s because apart from the fact that Planet 51’s aliens are green and slightly chubbier in the face, and Escape from Planet Earth’s Baab aliens are very similar.
As for the 3D, it falls flat until closer to the end of the movie. With this being space and alien movie there could have been more room for ducking and diving in your seats.
If you liked Planet 51 and Space Chimps 1 and 2: Zartog Strikes Back, you’ll like this.