Sunday, 9 August 2009

Film Review: SPACE CHIMPS (2008)

Co-Writer/Director: Kirk De Micco
Running time: 81 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): U

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 9th August 2009.


I am usually a fan of animated films, but I must say this is one of the worst I’ve seen to date. I know, as a forty-something male, I’m probably not the target audience, but even my ‘inner child’ didn’t like this one! There were probably only two moments that I found mildly amusing, it seems that the writers had a very bad week when they banged this one out. I’ll tell you a bit about the plot and then we’ll rant on a little more.

In the early days of space flight, some of the first pioneers were chimpanzees, and one of the best was Ham I. Years later, his grandson Ham III, is working as a human cannonball in a circus. Meanwhile, an unmanned space probe is sucked into a wormhole and transported across the universe to an earth-like planet with strange (cute, cartoon) alien life. Three chimps are kept at the space centre for the tourists to look at & it’s decided to send the chimps, rather than risk a human, to find out what happened to the probe. The wise-cracking Ham III is drafted in to give the mission some credence with the press. The chimps are trained and sent on their way, as you can guess; this is where the ‘fun’ starts.

I think the main problem with this film is that I didn’t engage with any of the characters, Ham III was really annoying & the rest of the chimps weren’t really much to write home about. The only characters I found remotely interesting were the scientists at the space centre. So, scientists good, chimps, not so good. The aliens were pretty dumb, and in some cases far too cute. So, the voice talents of Omid Abtahi as Dr Jagu, Patrick Breen as Dr Bob, Jane Lynch as Dr Poole, Kath Soucie as Dr Smothers and Stanley Tucci as the Senator were all good. Andy Samberg as Ham III, Cheryl Hines as Luna, Jeff Daniels as Zartog (an alien) and Patrick Warburton as Titan, not so good. Over all, a rather unfunny film that might keep the under four’s occupied for an hour (or so).

My score: 4/10

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