Movie Review: Planes

Published August 20, 2013 by mrsrag

Starring the Voices of:  Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Terri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Carlos Alazraqui, Roger Craig Smith, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Sinbad, Brent Musburger.

Rated: PG.  Animated.  Running Time: 1 hour 31 minutes.

I was shocked.  Not by the formulaic plot.  Or the predictable twists.  What was shocking was that even with all these flaws, I still enjoyed the movie somehow.  I entered the theatre with the lowest expectations possible.  Mostly because I knew from previews and pre-release press that Planes was going to be a Cars/Turbo hybrid.  Crop dusting plane wants to race around the World; crop duster qualifies due to glitch; blah blah blah.  It’s difficult to get hyped up for the same crap all the time in these kids movies.  Every storyline is about some type of underdog with big dreams.  Believe me, I’m all about encouraging kids to achieve great things, but aren’t there plenty of other life lessons we can start portraying on screen.  Anything original that doesn’t involve racing?  Maybe a story about how hard work results in success or how being kind and generous is rewarding.  There has to be some new subject matter we haven’t yet tapped into.

I realize lately we’ve become somewhat of a broken record when it comes to the lack of originality in movies, and that Planes is another in the line was certainly no surprise.  Maria has hit it on the head with her assessment of Planes as a cross between Cars and Turbo.  Slow snail gets fast, wins Indy 500.  Underestimated crop duster……..yeah, okay, got it.  Dusty’s (Cook) sidekick Chug (Garrett) = Mater.  Broken down mentor Skipper (Keach) is Doc Hudson.  It’s especially distressing to me because I have been saying for ages that the animated features, as a whole, are far superior offerings than mainstream Hollywood.  Now, it seems, they’ve finally decided to sacrifice quality for money grabbing and that is truly a shame.  I also liked Planes better than Turbo, but I’m definitely not nutting over it.  Check out that voice cast!  They deserve better.  I really hope the studios get back to serving us the quality we’ve come to know, and stop taking advantage of our kids and the parents. We deserve better too.

Going to the movies is an expensive venture, which is the main reason we deserve better.  We skipped the 3-D this time, because quite honestly, we haven’t been impressed by the use of the effect on screen.  And it’s an extra 3 or 4 bucks per ticket!  The only movie I have seen that truly wowed me was Jackass 3-D.  Now that was well worth the extra cash because they used the effect to its potential.  Shooting things out into the crowd and dusting us with faux confetti; that’s what going to a 3-D movie should be like.  I want to be grabbing and dodging things.  Keep that in mind, Hollywood.  Planes had some indescribable charm.  And I enjoyed the manner with which they executed the race.  There were more laughs and clever antics than Turbo, but it fell short of its predecessor, Cars.  Needless to say, this latest kids flick was mediocre.  I won’t be racing out to grab it off shelves.

Ethan enjoyed the movie, that’s all that matters really.  Though I’m sure even he would admit it’s not going on his all time favorites list.  We didn’t go 3-D, that was a plus, waste of money.  I’m going to make two prediction: 3-D offerings will decrease significantly, soon.  And, sometime in the future, you’ll see a Cars/Planes release.  Hopefully they’ll come up with a script worthy of the actors and the audience. 

Maria’s Rating:  2.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Ross’ Rating:  2.75 Gummies. 


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