Starring the voices of: Rob Corddry, Brendan Fraser, William Shatner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, George Lopez, Jane Lynch, Ricky Gervais, Steve Zahn, Gregg Brinkley, Craig Robinson, Sofia Vergara, Jonathan Morgan Heit.
Rated: PG. Animated. Running Time: 1 hour 29 minutes.
Wow. Look at that list of stars. Ross and I were not doing a very good job of nailing who was voicing here. We still got Fraser, Shatner, Lopez, Lynch and Sofia Vergara – but honestly that’s an off day for us. Even with this cast of well known stars, Escape from Planet Earth failed to shine. In fact, I’m not even sure it sparkled. It just kind of fizzled. Sometimes things are just not meant to be. I should have known we were destined for discontent from the first few moments. The 3-D wasn’t working. I feel robbed enough paying extra for 3-D, so if I’m going to fork over the extra cash I expect to at least enjoy it. Out of a packed theatre I was the first person to go find help. When I returned it was working and Ross informed me that I didn’t miss a thing. Sadly, I could have missed the whole movie and he probably would have said the same thing. The 3-D was so unnecessary in this particular picture. I can’t help but feel that every kid’s movie is just being churned out with these extra money grabs.
Maria and I are great fans of animated features. The ratio of good to bad far exceeds that of Hollywood’s mainstream offerings. That being said, they aren’t all instant classics, and Escape From Planet Earth is not going to make anyone forget Cars or Up or Wall-E. EFPE is the story of two blue-skinned brothers from the Planet Baab, one an adventurous astronaut named Scorch (Fraser), the other the brains behind the scenes nerd Gary (Corddry). Scorch runs into some big problems on a “rescue” mission to Earth and Gary has to leave the safe confines of mission control to embark on a rescue mission of his own. The cast of characters they run into on Earth: the evil head of Area 51 Shanker (Shatner), a mouse-like dude named Doc (Robinson), a three-eyed slimy creature with four arms, Thurman (Lopez), and a huge one-eyed monster (Lynch); all have an uncanny resemblence to corresponding characters from the highly entertaining 2009 release Monsters Vs. Aliens. After doing a little research, I discovered that EFPE has had a multitude of problems. The project has been in the works for years and has had numerous script rewrites, parts recast and is currently still in litigation between two of the films creating factions. All of this has added up to an inferior product. Beyond being a blatant rip-off, it’s just not very funny.
You’re probably getting sick of us agreeing all the time, but when the man is right – he’s right. The laughs were fleeting. And I guarantee you’ll agree if you see this one. The plot was formulaic, the script was lazy and the heart was non-existent. I have to guess that the problems off screen effected the production of this film. This isn’t one that we’ll be rushing to go buy or rent out of the Red Box. Honestly, there isn’t much else to say about it. We didn’t enjoy it, but at least Ethan seemed to like it. If you’re willing to take one for the team, so to speak, then bring a youth to see this flop. If not, I’d suggest skipping this snooze fest/cash grab.
EFPE is not the worst movie ever made. Maria mentioned that Ethan enjoyed it, and I’m sure it will do okay at the box office, mainly because there haven’t been any kids movies released recently. It is just immensely forgettable. The bar has been set so high by Pixar and DreamWorks, that when an average or below average film comes along, it seems even worse than it is. The best part of EFPE was Ricky Gervais voicing a wise-cracking computer, and he was in the movie for a total of about 5 minutes. Brendan Fraser has been in the news of late claiming he can’t afford his child support payments any longer. His Ex better hope he uses better judgement in his future project selections, or she’ll be paying him pretty soon.
Maria’s Rating: 2 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Ross’ Rating: 2.25 Gummies.