Something strange is coming to their planet...Us!
Running Time: 91 minutes
US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: U
Country: Spain, United Kingdom, United States
I saw Planet 51 yesterday, and Ive pretty much already forgotten it. Theres nothing bad about, its mildly entertaining, and for what it isa kids film meant to draw in the families looking for some safe family viewing after a holiday meal that ISNT related to vampires or world destructionits an OK way to spend 90-minutes. Its just that in a year that produced movies like Up and Coraline, its like Ive said beforea bar was set, and now that we know what to hope for, its a letdown when we dont get stories of that quality in the animated world.
Lem (voice of Justin Long) is a teenager-type with a new job doing what he lovestalking about spaceat the museum. Hes got a funny best friend (voice of Seann William Scott), a cute girl next door that likes him (voice of Jessica Biel), and everything seems to be going OK. Then one bright day, out of the sky arrives an alien visitor (voice of Dwayne Johnson) in the form of American astronaut Captain Charles Chuck Baker, sending Lem on the run to grudgingly protect his new friend and risk everything to keep his own planet from spiraling into an anti-alien frenzy.
So, while it may not stand out as especially remarkable or memorable, the premise of Planet 51 is somewhat original as far as a kids movie. Its sort of a nice idea to let kids see that maybe were NOT the center of the universe, so to speak, and though its been done before (and better), theres always room for another lesson that different is OK. The story is enough to keep its intended audience watching, the jokes are funny, theres a cute robot dog (probably the best character in the whole thing), and the hero is likeable enough. For sci-fi buffs, there are references galore to all sorts of genre classics like 2001, Alien, Star Wars, and more, which is sort of fun for adults, as kinds most likely wont catch them. Its just that theres nothing really noteworthy about any of itthe animation is OK, but Lem and his friends look a little like a hybrid of Sea-Monkey and Who from Whoville; the jokes are funny, but theyre not all that clever; the story works, but its nothing new. Its like there was a promising concept, but somewhere along the line, too many people got involved and threw in their two cents about what makes a successful cartoon, and all those voices managed to suck out any real flavor, leaving a bland, watchable, but overall forgettable viewing experience.
It's Got: Some funny jokes, a cool 50s soundtrack, Characters with names like "Glar"
It Needs: More interesting animation, more humor, better characters
Alternatives:Escape to Witch Mountain, WALL-E
Absolutely nothing memorable, Planet 51 is still a mildly entertaining kids flick that’s not too dumbed down for adults.