Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dreamworks Film Review - Home

Oh (Jim Parsons) is a member of the alien race The Boov who've been running from their arch enemy the technically advanced Gorg for as long as most Boov can remember. The Gorg follow the Boov from planet to planet destroying every new home the Boov inhabit. At the films opening the Boov have target Earth as their next residence where they hope to finally escape their pursuers.

The Boov are proud of their cowardice and their leader is Captain Smek (Steve Martin) the best of their species at running away. Oh is not popular among his kind his name is based on the exasperated expression muttered by other Boov when he makes a suggestion or offers an opinion. After learning three or four facts about humans the Boov arrive on the planet politely using their suction tube technology to relocate the humans to a small section of Australia. The rest of the planet including all of the key capitals and large cites are taken over by the Boov. As his species are settling into their new surroundings Oh makes an error that could result in the Gorg learning their new location.  Oh is forced to flee running into the only human left in the city, Gratuity Tip Tucci (Rihanna) who is looking for her mother Lucy (Jennifer Lopez) relocation spot.  The pair join forces, Oh needing Tip to escape while she needs Oh's assistance to find her mom.

Director Tim Johnson creates an animated film that is entertaining for both children and adults.  The production is well paced and the action sequences on come off smoothy. The script adapted by Tom Astle and Matt Ember from Adam Rex's book The True Meaning of Smekday is peppered with subtle jokes for the adults and clean lines that will prompt reposes from all ages.  The script has several good lessons including not judging people before you know them and not blindly following leaders without critical questioning.

Jim Parsons is strong in his voice work debut as Oh. He delivers his lines well bringing his character to life especially when exaggerating the Boov's habit of slightly messing up human expressions that could grow tiresome in the wrong hands. Rihanna not only plays Tip but also did the soundtrack for the film. She is memorable as an outsider from Barbados just settling into her new surroundings when the Boov's vacuum tubes sucked up her mom taking her away. Steve Martin is his usual solid self as the cowardly yet mean Captain Smek.

Home is an enjoyable well presented fast paced. The story and visuals will appeal to the younger set plus the film includes just enough smart dialogue to keep parents engaged.  Jim Parsons and Rihanna perform well in their first voice work roles. The story is straightforward, two misfits team up to teach each other that contrasting groups can learn from each other and embrace their differences. The film has a couple of thematic threads that are beneficial to learn at a young age or as a grown up.  It is a film I can recommend.

*** out of 4

Home | Tim Johnson | U.S.A. | 2015 | 94 Minutes.

Tags: Aliens, Invasion, Search, Family, Outcast, Outsider, Immigrant, Tolerance.

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