REVIEW: Escape From Planet Earth

REVIEW: Escape From Planet Earth

REVIEW: Escape From Planet Earth

REVIEW: Escape From Planet Earth

First published in Leisure News

Escape from Planet Earth (U)

Running time: 86 minutes

Featuring the voices of Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Shatner, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Craig Robinson, George Lopez, Jane Lynch.

Director: Cal Brunker.

Released: March 7 (UK & Ireland)

JEALOUSY, fear and the menace of Simon Cowell test the bonds of fraternal love in Cal Brunker's uninspired computer-animated adventure.

Establishing a brisk tone from its opening sequence, Escape From Planet Earth charts a predictable course from conflict to reconciliation as feuding alien siblings put their differences aside to overcome the galaxy's great menace: man.

A bright colour palette and cute otherworldly characters should hold the interest of younger viewers who relish slapstick and armpit farts with their mawkish sentiment.

However, Brunker's script, co-written by Bob Barlen, doesn't cater for older audiences. There are no close encounters with laugh-out-loud gags and the rickety plot has been dusted off from the vaults of Area 51.

Parents who blast off for this routine mission with excitable children should expect to drift pleasantly into hypersleep well before the 86 minutes are up.

Escape From Planet Earth never threatens to reach warp speed as Gary realises that true heroism is protecting the people you love.

The animation throughout is pristine, albeit lacking in personality, while vocal performances are solid, including Ricky Gervais as a sarcastic BASA computer.

Corddry essays a likeable hero while Fraser purrs as the egotistical golden boy, who always has one eye on his lucrative sponsorship deal with Scorchio's cereal, which promises "a surprise in every box".

Regrettably, there aren't any in Brunker's film.

Damon Smith

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