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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Edition No 894 

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ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH 3D

SYNOPSIS:
Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is Planet Baab's celebrated space traveller, who accomplishes missions with the help of his brainy BASA Mission Control brother Gary (Rob Corddry). Gary's son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit) is Scorch's greatest fan. When BASA's chief, Lena (Jessica Alba) intercepts a distress signal from the notoriously dangerous Dark Planet (aka Earth), Scorch jumps to the rescue, despite Gary's discouragement; no intergalactic explorer has ever returned. Scorch realizes too late he has been lured into a deadly ambush set by the power-crazed paramilitary leader General Shanker (William Shatner).

Review by Louise Keller:
Aliens of all shapes and sizes provide amusing banter in this likeable, happy and colourful 3D animation in which planets are saved and family ties nurtured. While the plot per se may not offer anything new, the characters are so darned likeable and the film's tone light, bright and frivolous, it's a happy innings for kids and adults alike.

Central to the plot is a blue, broad-chested, chisel-jawed hero called Scorch Supernova (voice of Brendan Fraser), who springboards from one inter-galactic adventure to the next. Little do his adoring fans on the planet of Baab realise the success of his missions is in part to do with his nerdy, genius brother Gary (Rob Corddry), who watches his back as his nimble fingers presses buttons back at Mission Control. In the film's opening scenes, when we watch Scotch save a handful of cute little blue babies from a deadly fate, we understand the effectiveness of the teamwork. Gary believes in caution; Scorch insists on stylish flourishes.

On his dangerous next assignment to the Dark Planet (played by Earth), Scorch finds himself at a 7/11 servo at Area 51, outside which a giant blow-up doll dances in the wind. I chuckled when Scorch gives mouth to mouth to the punctured doll, before finding himself in captivity alongside a lovable, slime-emitting giant three-eyed slug called Thurman (George Lopez), a flame-coloured, one-eyed sun-dwelling monster called Io (Jane Lynch) and an intergalactic radio talk-show therapist Doc (Craig Robinson), who invented social networking. One of my favourite scenes is the satirical black and white movie that describes humans' worship of money and dental floss as it welcomes all aliens to Earth.

There are many humorous moments as Gary leaves his Mission Control comfort zone to rescue Scorch, aided by his talented wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and whip-smart son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit). William Shatner is hilarious as the megalomaniacal General Shanker, who dons a bouffy Elvis wig when video conferencing Gary's duplicitous boss Lena (Jessica Alba). And Ricky Gervais adds a few comic asides as the voice of the computer.

The film flies on a bright carpet of inventiveness with plenty of visuals and gags for all the family, promising a happy outing for all.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH 3D (PG)
(US, 2013)

VOICES: Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Jessica Alba, Sofía Vergara, Paul Scheer, Jason Simpson, Sarah Jessica Parker

PRODUCER: Luke Carroll, Catherine Winder

DIRECTOR: Cal Brunker

SCRIPT: Bob Barlen, Cal Brunker (Story by Tony Leech, Cory Edwards)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Matthew A. Ward

EDITOR: Matt Landon, Scott Winlaw

MUSIC: Aaron Zigman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Barry E. Jackson

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Vic/Qld: March 28, 2013; NSW/SA: April 11, 2013; WA: April 18, 2013







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