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Planes – Movie Review

Submitted by on August 9, 2013 – 3:29 pmNo Comment

Planes was never meant to hit the theaters. Initially, Planes was supposed to be a direct-to-DVD release that was simply a spin-off of the Cars franchise, but it ended up hitting theaters after Disney was impressed with the scenes they watched . But after watching the 90 minute feature, it is safe to say that this is a flight that should have remained grounded because, as a sister of sorts to Pixar’s Cars franchise, Disney Toon Studios’ Planes simply crashes and burns.

Maybe it is because of the by-the-numbers approach. You know the story of an underdog who makes an attempt to prove that they are worthy of being great? In this story, Dusty (voiced by the terribly unfunny Dane Cook) is a crop-dusting plane that dreams to one day compete in an around the world race with high powered jets. But, of course, he’s a crop duster that is never meant to do more than make daily rounds to ensure the crops are taken care of. However, his dreams become a reality as he practices and finally makes it into the competition with the help of the retired army plane Skipper (Stacey Keach), the mechanic forklift Dottie (Teri Hatcher), and the fuel truck/sidekick Chug. Of course, there’s a villain courtesy of the defending champion Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith) that Dusty has to overcome. I’m pretty sure you can predict how everything plays out.

But the story isn’t the real problem because it’s a kids movie after all. The problem with Planes is that it lacks the charm of its predecessors and just isn’t that funny. It struggles with its basic script and wooden characters. Many of the jokes come at the expense of the borderline offensive stereotypes shoved into the Mexican plane El Chupacabra as he spends a majority of the film trying to reel in the French-Canadian plane Rochelle. The other planes, including the Indian Ishani and English fighter jet Bulldog, are merely placeholders to ensure that the film’s beats go according to plan. By the time the film draws to its all too predictable close, you are left wondering what you just watched and why.

Planes exists in the world of Cars but lacks all of the elements that made that film such a massive hit.  Instead, it is meant to capitalize on the momentum of Cars and likely will look to cash in on merchandising without worrying much about how film critics take to the film. In the end, this is one flight that should have stayed on the ground.


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