Co-Directors: Javier Abad & Marcos Martínez
Running time: 91 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): U
UK release date: 4th December 2009
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 24th October 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
As you may or may not know, I’m a bit of a sucker for an animated feature and, having seen the trailer for Planet 51 a while back I was keen to see how it turned out. I must admit I was shocked how poorly it has been received. What I found was a funny, engaging film with a whole load of gags referring to just about every mainstream sci-fi/alien film. I admit it’s not perfect, but I think it deserves another chance. But more of that later, first, here’s a very brief summary (miss the next paragraph if you hate summaries).
Planet 51 is supposed to be lifeless, well, that’s what the data said anyway. Unfortunately for astronaut Captain Charles T. Baker, it isn’t. Alien life forms with green skin inhabit this little planet and they have advanced as far as the 1950’s, that’s USA 1950’s, just in case there’s any doubt. A teenager, Lem, befriends Baker and, with the help of his friends, Skiff and Eckle, hides him from the army and their leader, General Grawl and the crazy scientist, Professor Kipple. He is in love with Eckle’s sister, Neera, but struggles with getting the right words out. Back with the mission, help is at hand in the form of R.O.V.E.R., an advance scout robot who was sent ahead of the mission. Time is running out for Baker, his command craft, in orbit, leaves in 72 hours. Can Lem and his friends get him back to his Lander in time? Will Baker help Lem with Neera? Is there any end to these crazy questions? Guess you’ll have to wait and see.
As I said at the beginning, there are plenty of gags incorporated into the script and there’s also a lot of slapstick. My favourite character is the ‘Alien’ dog; you’ll know what I mean when/if you see it. The dialogue was adequately delivered, but then nobody was really stretched. Honourable mentions go to the voice talents of; Dwayne Johnson as Captain Charles T. Baker, Jessica Biel as Neera, Justin Long as Lem, Gary Oldman as General Grawl, Seann William Scott as Skiff and John Cleese as Professor Kipple.
Over all I found it a very entertaining movie with quite a few laughs. I guess it’s down to taste and I’m aware that we are all different, especially when it comes to comedy, but I urge you to give this one a chance. Although it’s not perfect, I’ve seen much, much worse… Recommended.
My score: 6.4/10
IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0762125/
Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/sonywonder/planet51/