Saturday, March 22, 2014
Planes (Klay Hill, 2013) Review
Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) is a crop dusting plane who aspires to be the greatest racing plane that ever soared. He enters a qualifying race for the world tour and makes in into the qualifiers thanks to a disqualification. He realises that, compared to the more qualified racers, he is the underdog of the race and, coupled with his fear of heights, has to rely on the help of his mentor, a retired military plane named Skipper (Stacey Keech), in order to win the race.
Let me take something away from that synopsis. "coupled with his fear of heights"...we have a story of a plane...who is scared of heights. Wow...this is desperation from Disney. As you might expect, Planes has no purpose of existing. Even less so than Cars 2 which actually had some good elements to it. Planes, on the other hand, rehashes almost all the plot elements from the first Cars film or, if failing that, flips plot twists around instead. In addition, the film seems to end on a bit of a mixed message that backfires.
It isn't atrocious as the animation is still pretty good. While it's clear that they lack the budget that Pixar had, it still looks good, especially the flying scenes which seem to always look good in animated films (How to Train Your Dragon, Bee Movie and The LEGO Movie for example have great scale and animated flying).. Roger Craig Smith and Carlos Alazraqui are the best actors in the film but, considering that they are professional voice actors, that was obvious from the start. Dane Cook and Stacey Keech provide solid enough performances I guess but the rest fall flat. Also, John Cleese was criminally underused...not even sure why he signed onto this film.
Planes is a weak, weak film. It's a film that seems dead on arrival seeming as it is not only a stupid concept but it has almost no reason for existing. It isn't necessarily "bad" so much as it is...weak, as I already stated. Some of the cast pull through but most fall flat, the animation looks good enough but clearly suffered from a smaller budget and the message is kind of mixed. HOWEVER! Towards the end, I was actually invested and the ending was surprisingly satisfying despite it being incredibly predictable.
A weak film that suffers from...well...just being weak. It hasn't got a leg to stand on.