Escape From Planet Earth 3D [Blu-Ray] Cal Brunker

Escape From Planet Earth 3D [Blu-Ray] Cal Brunker
4
During the opening moments of the poorly animated and readily forgettable piece of children's propaganda, a vaguely defined interplanetary rescue mission goes horribly wrong. Muscle-bound meat head Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) fails to follow very simple instructions from his diminutive, intellectual brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), cooing like a crack addict at the larvae-like blue babies he's attempting to rescue, despite clear warnings that any noise might wake up a legion of baby-eating monsters. It's the sort of broad, frustrating humour that aggravates more than it entertains, trying to make clear character divisions for a younger audience used to far more sophisticated material. And, unfortunately, it continues long after the action leaves the base planet of Baab, stinking up the entire galaxy with out-dated tropes and Looney Toons pratfalls. Scorch accidentally activates a car alarm on his spaceship at one point and, later, once the alien hero is tasked with travelling to, and investigating, a rescue beacon coming from the "dark planet" (Earth), references to Simon Cowell and Area 51 pop up, revealing just how topical this bit of political posturing really is. Once Scorch makes it to Earth — being locked up by nefarious government officials after Pop Chips and 7-11 get their full share of product placement exploitation — it becomes clear why so little effort was put into the jokes, action and characterizations. On the agenda here is anti-American sentiment, positing a clandestine relationship between Earth's military leaders and the president of Baab, Lena Thackleman (Jessica Alba), wherein she is readily being exploited for her Intel, which, in the context of this pedagogical cartoon, is Gary, the smartest alien in the galaxy. There are also some politically conscious nods to globalization ethos, with the alien prison being a mishmash of intergalactic inventors that Earthlings (Americans) have exploited for technological purposes, only to use against their home planet. The message is that of rigid nationalist adherence, vilifying those who corroborate with factions from another nation while hypocritically criticizing America for power mongering. What's even worse, and vaguely offensive, is that the impetus behind Earth's plot to destroy the universe was an alien spacecraft accidentally crashing into Earth, tossing in a little acknowledgement of 9/11. Glossing up this rather abhorrent story about "aliens" in America is a little bit of twaddle about familial bonding, with the climax calling for a collaboration between duelling brothers Scorch and Gary, with the aid of Gary's wife (Sarah Jessica Parker) and son. In the world of Escape From Planet Earth, where the 3D is never once used effectively and tends towards Friday the 13th 3D campy obviousness, family values are as paramount as simplifying politics, while confusing kids by mixing polemics with blind pride. None of this is discussed on the commentary track, nor is it acknowledged in the supplements about the cast and the approach to animation included with the Blu-Ray disc. Perhaps they were hoping no one would notice. (eOne)