IT’S CARS BUT IN THE AIR, REALLY NOTHING SPECIAL, BUT IT’S FUNNY AND CUTE ENOUGH FOR THE KIDS!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: C- (2 ½ stars)
Dusty (middle), Ripslinger (left), and El Chupacabra (right) soaring in Planes
Disney just can’t leave the Cars world alone, can they? Well I can admit I thought the first Cars was okay, despite its ridiculous concept, the 2011 sequel on the other hand, while a hit at the box office, it opened to negative reception, becoming Pixar’s first dud movie. Disney decided to make a spinoff of Cars, Planes, which was originally going to be a straight to DVD feature, but Disney decided to change their mind and release the movie in theaters, and…it was cute, nothing mind-blowing or impressive, but cute.
Like the Cars movies, Planes still has that dumb concept where everyone is a vehicle, also the plot of the movie is very similar to the first Cars about an underdog who enters a big race and comes out on top. Despite the lacking in originality and the ridiculous concept, the animation is fun to watch, the characters are likable, the 3D soars around you, and the voice acting is actually pretty good.
The film is about a Crop-Duster named Dusty (voiced by Comedy Central’s Dane Cook-Dan In Real Life) who dreams of becoming an air racer plane, there’s just one tiny problem…he’s afraid of heights. So with some help from his friends, Dottie (voiced by Teri Hatcher-Spy Kids, Desperate Housewives, Coraline) the forklift, Chug (voiced by Brad Garrett), a fuel truck, and a former Navy war plane, Skipper (voiced by Stacy Keach), Dusty will do whatever it takes to become an air racer and race along with some of the greatest racing planes in the world.
While all the other planes are either very excited or raising their eyebrows (or windshield wipers) about a Crop-Duster entering the race, one will stop at nothing to prevent Dusty from winning, a plane named Ripslinger (voiced by Roger Craig Smith-Sonic the Hedgehog, Wreck-It Ralph) becomes Dusty’s rival during the competition and orders his two goons to do his dirty work and make sure Dusty doesn’t win. Dusty also meets a Mexican plane named El Chupacabra (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui), a French-Canadian racer named Rochelle (voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus-Seinfeld), a female racing plane known as Ishani (voiced by Priyanka Chopra), who is Dusty’s love interest in the movie, a British racer who he reluctantly saves his life named Bulldog (voiced by John Cleese-Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Rat Race, Shrek 2-4), and several other colorful characters.
While Planes isn’t exactly a movie for me, it’s a decent flick to show to your kids, much like The Smurfs 2, it’s one of those movies you pop into your DVD player for your young kids to watch, except there is a little more charm in this movie than in The Smurfs 2. If you’re looking for something fun to see as a family, I’d say go to Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, or Turbo, and then maybe this movie, I didn’t think the movie is a terrible movie to see with your family, but there are much better family films out to see.
I’m glad Planes wasn’t released through Pixar, so I won’t have to blame them for the concept and lacking of originality. But to be honest, Planes wasn’t quite as bad as I thought at first, sure it’s nothing special or impressive, but it’s cute, funny, has a colorful cast of characters, and some very good voice talents, even though Roger Craig Smith was one of the main reasons I went to see this movie, Val Kilmer (Heat, Top Gun, Batman Forever), Cedric the Entertainer, Gabriel Iglesias, Anthony Edwards, Sinbad, and many other talented stars all provide voices in this film, so quite a bit of good came out of seeing this movie.
If you’re a fan of the other Cars movies, there’s definitely a chance you’ll find some amusement in this flick, it isn’t for everyone, I’ll tell you that now, but overall it’s a fine kids movie.